Group using web to tackle criminals

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WARINGSTOWN Neighbourhood Watch is using the internet to help beat the burglars.

After a period of reconstruction and maintenance the group’s website has gone live again.

It can be accessed via www.wnw.org.uk at any time and keeps you up to date with the latest information regarding incidents that have occurred in the village or adjacent areas.

The high level of co-operation and interaction between the very active Neighbourhood Policing Team and the scheme management is such that community alerts are on-line sometimes within an hour of receiving it.

The management would encourage its community partners, and indeed villagers, to access the website regularly and then spread alerts quickly around their neighbours.

Being one of the largest schemes in Northern Ireland, WNW has over 800 community partners in 25 sectors throughout the village and they are served by 25 helpers, with the scheme headed up by four Assistant Co-ordinators and the Lead Coordinator, who is also one of the scheme’s founders.

Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are based on community partners giving prompt information to the police regarding burglaries, anti-social behaviour, other types of suspected crime, or suspicious activity. They may dial 999 and can also provide helpful information regarding an incident by ringing 0845 600 8000 at any time of day. Conversely success is also associated with prompt alerts and security advice being circulated promptly by the lead coordinator, assistant coordinators, helpers and the co-scheme managers.

This has been greatly enhanced by the issuing of e-mail alerts to the coordinators and down to helpers who have computer access. Those who have not are being alerted by phone.

The scheme’s success depends on prompt reporting by concerned public. The scheme management are pleased that an increasing number of villagers are doing this and are playing their essential part by assisting the Neighbourhood Policing Team and its Response colleagues in tackling and reducing crime; thus making Waringstown a safer place for its people.

The Management Group is hopeful that the scheme can be extended into the village’s new developments early next year but can only do that if helpers are willing to serve in these areas. The group is appealing for people to volunteer when leaflet drops are being done.

The successful scheme has been in place for the past six years and the management looks forward to another fruitful year and thank their community partners for their continued and valued support.

WNW advises the Waringstown community to be very careful regarding their home security over the holiday period which can be a popular time for thieves to burgle houses. There is good guidance on the WNW website.