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Celebrating 4,000 local heroes

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Neighbourhood Watch play a vital role in making communities safer and as part of Neighbourhood Watch Week (20-28 June) we're celebrating the 4,000 volunteers who help us be safe and feel safe.

Avon and Somerset Police are also rolling out two new initiatives for Neighbourhood Watch volunteers to help them in their critical role of helping to keep our communities safe.

A new home security checker will help Neighbourhood Watch teams assess people's homes and produce a bespoke report which flags potential vulnerabilities.  It will also provide advice on action that residents can take to improve their home safety.  The 'safe home' pilot starts this month with a plan to roll out across the force area later in the year.

The Force has also invested in improving the Community Alert service so that over the coming months it will be easier to sign up for different Watch programmes, get information about local activity and find out ways to engage with crime prevention and reduction initiatives.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Only by empowering our communities to take action can we cut crime together, ensure there are fewer victims and build safer communities. Neighbourhood Watch is a great example of the police working with the support of their communities. With over 100,000 homes represented in Neighbourhood Watch schemes within Avon and Somerset it really show the power of local people in preventing crime.

"The sense of unity that Neighbourhood Watch brings to local communities always comes across so strongly when I meet with local groups.  Neighbourhood Watch plays a vital role in helping keep our communities safe and feeling safe.  It is clear to see that in many areas communities are looking out for one another and working together to improve safety and the feeling of safety."

Avon and Somerset has been supporting Neighbourhood Watch since 1982 and there are now over 4,000 Watches in the force area. Many different types of Watch schemes exist to address different community needs; ranging from Community Speedwatch, to Farmwatch, Horsewatch, Countryside Watch and Rural Watch.

Avon and Somerset Police's lead for Neighbourhood Watch, Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Crew says: "Across the Avon and somerset force area thousands of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers work closely with Neighbourhood Policing teams to help make our communities safe.

"Neighbourhood watch proves that very many people actively want to make a positive difference in their communities.  The new home security checker and community alerts empower, enable and equip them to do just that. 

"We know that people are six times less likely to be a victim of burglary if they're a member of Neighbourhood Watch so we are delighted to help these highly motivated volunteers do their vital job even more successfully."

Posted on Monday 22nd June 2015
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