THE number of Neighbourhood Watch schemes operational in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area has recently increased with the accreditation of a new scheme for Garvetagh Road in Castlederg.
Neighbourhood Watch is one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention initiatives ever and is grounded in a partnership between the community, the police and other statutory agencies.
It is not solely about reducing burglary or break-ins it is about fostering and growing communities who care.
This point is emphasised by Margaret Cassidy, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for the newly accredited scheme who said:
“This rural area has a well-established community spirit with many residents in the area having lived there all their lives.
“Apart from the obvious home security aspects of the scheme I feel that this initiative will also bring us closer together and make a real contribution to the safety and well-being of our residents.”
Alderman Drew Thompson, Chairperson of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership added:
“From a community safety perspective I am delighted to see an increase in the number of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes especially in the rural area.
“The PCSP has been instrumental in promoting these schemes and we now have over 40 accredited schemes in the Council area covering over 2,000 homes.
“I have no doubt that these schemes have contributed to preventing burglaries and house break-ins in the Council area by encouraging people take extra home safety precautions and look out for their neighbours.
“I would encourage anyone considering setting up a scheme in their area to contact their local neighbourhood police officer or the Derry and Strabane PCSP on 7137 6565.”