Sutton’s Neighbourhoods Watched

January 17, 2011 9:00 AM

Last week Tom Brake MP and Heather Shaw, Chair of the Sutton Neighbourhood Watch, held a meeting with Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire, to discuss the support the Home Office provides to Neighbourhood Watches and potential improvements to Neighbourhood Watch nationwide.

The Minister heard Heather's concerns about the availability of resources such as flyers, packs, signs and stickers which are essential to the smooth-running of Sutton's Neighbourhood Watch (now the biggest in London).

The potential to expand and promote Neighbourhood Watches through new media, especially social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter was also debated.

Heather Shaw said, 'It was a very interesting and productive meeting. We discussed how we could develop Neighbourhood Watch nationwide. The Minister was very impressed with how we operate locally in Sutton.'

Sutton Neighbourhood Watch was founded in May 2000 and has since grown to be the largest local association in London with over 1300 members across the borough. It currently covers roughly half of all streets in Sutton, but is looking to expand even more in certain areas and is actively seeking new members in St. Helier.

Tom said, 'We are very lucky to have people such as Heather and her support team, who work so hard to involve people in Neighbourhood Watch. It fulfils an important role in tackling crime, fostering a greater sense of caring among the community and cutting people's insurance premiums! I am very grateful for the positive work they do and the Minister was clearly pleased with what he heard about Sutton.'

Since his meeting with the Minister, Tom has written to him, seeking clarification of how resources will be made more readily available for Neighbourhood Watch Associations.

Neighbourhood Watch started out in the UK in 1982 as a way to tackle household burglary but has since evolved into a project to help build more caring communities. It is now the largest voluntary organisation in the country.

For more information or to join Sutton Neighbourhood Watch please visit www.SuttonNeighbourhoodWatch.co.uk or call 020 8649 0614.

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