Lib Dem's call to keep an eye on neighbours

December 13, 2007 12:00 AM
By Jamie Forsyth in Brentwood Weekly News
Neighbourhood Watch scheme sign.

Call for neighbourhood watch co-ordinator

An improved Neighbourhood Watch system in Brentwood has been called for following an increase in burglaries.

Liberal Democrat leader, David Kendall, was due to call for the position of Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator to be reinstated at a meeting of the council on Wednesday.

At a recent meeting of the borough's Crime Reduction Partnership, it was revealed the number of burglaries in Brentwood increased by 9.6 per cent between 2004 and October 2007 although overall crime is down by 12.1 per cent over the same period.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Kendall said: "Since the coordinator position went, we are concerned we haven't got the network across the borough that there used to be and having spoken to residents there is a concern.

"This would be a way of doing something about it to show people we are really serious about the issue. "Police community support officers are doing a bit themselves, but there is no real co-ordination"

Brentwood police have identified the number of burglaries as a concern and are giving out timer switches to vulnerable people, which can time lights and stereos to come on to give the appearance somebody is at home.

Sgt Graham Shaw said: "The Neighbourhood Watch system is set up quite well and we are getting a lot of information out to people in the scheme and we are also getting some information back.

"What we need is people who are going to distribute information out to the community they live in and if we have more co-ordinators it works very well.

"The system we have got at the moment is good, but there is room for improvement. There are areas which aren't covered in Brentwood, but they are few and far between."