Staffordshire Police is encouraging people to join, or set up, a police registered Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Neighbourhood Watch is about residents working together with the police to protect their homes, businesses and communities.
It’s a powerful community-focused network which helps residents and businesses to fight crime and feel safer.
A range of products to help set up and encourage others to join are free, unlike some independent companies who can charge.
The police registered schemes operate by members reporting any suspicious people or incidents. Information is also sent to members advising them about local crime or whether there are bogus officials or rogue traders working in that area. This is done in a timely manner either by phone or email.
It works through the On-line Watch system (OWL). People who don’t want to become a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme could just sign up to receive messages about crime in the area. It also offers crime prevention advice on how to take simple precautions to prevent becoming a victim of crime. Messages are relevant to where you live and completely free.
OWL also provides a wealth of local information including neighbourhood newsletters, crime statistics, house prices, local councils and details of local politicians, weather and transport.
It also lets you report problems such as fly-tipping or broken street lights directly to the correct department in the right organisation.
Vicki Singleton, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Cannock and South Staffordshire, said: “Active police registered Neighbourhood Watch schemes can empower communities by opening and maintaining direct lines of communication with police and other residents.
“Information given to police can be invaluable in helping to catch criminals while they are operating in an area, and warning other residents.
“We are trying to attract a new generation of people to become part of a police registered Neighbourhood Watch scheme or to just join up free for the OWL messaging service.
“People of all ages are encouraged to join. For more information go to our website www.staffordshire.police.uk or contact your local Neighbourhood Watch Manager by ringing the force’s non emergency number 101.”