Recruitment drive for Neighbourhood Watch

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LOCAL police are currently trying to recruit householders to form more Neighbourhood Watch areas in Montrose.

Homes in the Glenprosen Street area were targeted on Sunday by local community liaison officer Constable Derek Mitchell, who will carry out the same exercise this Monday (May 23) to gauge opinion in the Charleton Road and Condor Crescent areas.

Neighbourhood Watch is regarded as one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention initiatives in the country. The community-led schemes involves residents banding together to form official groups which reduce the opportunities for crime in their areas.

To achieve this the groups encourage closer community links by encouraging people to look out for each other and each other’s property, encouraging and actively participating in crime reduction initiatives and practices, reporting suspicious incidents to the police when they happen and by working with the police, Angus Council and other partner agencies and voluntary organisations to improve community safety.

Neighbourhood Watch zones also have the added benefit of being ‘No Cold Calling areas’. This innovative approach was introduced in Angus four years ago as part of the Doorstoppers initiative to deter doorstep crime, the first scheme of its kind in Scotland.

Constable Mitchell said: “There is a number of existing Neighbourhood Watch/No Cold Calling areas within the Montrose area and we are looking to increase the number over the coming months.

“With No Cold Calling in particular we’ve had some very good results in relation to the preliminary evaluations indicating a fall in persons entering these areas for the purpose of selling door-to-door.

“I intend to visit the residents in Condor Crescent and Charleton Place between 6pm and 8pm on Monday to hear their views and provide information and advice so that we can provide Neighbourhood Watch in these areas.

“If residents within these streets don’t want to be visited, I would ask them to get in touch and advise me at Montrose Police Office.”

The local initiative coincides with the launch of a county-wide survey by the Angus Community Safety Partnership.

The Community Safety Survey 2011 will ask about general feelings of safety in neighbourhoods as well as asking residents about community concerns such as drinking and drugs, noisy neighbours and vandalism. The survey also focuses on the concerns highlighted by the previous survey.

The partnership hopes it will build on the success of the last survey two years ago.

In the results from the 2009 scheme, more than 53 per cent of residents polled suggested that they were very or fairly worried about dog fouling in their area. Also, almost half of those polled mentioned that littering was a significant problem.

Since then Angus community wardens have become the lead agency on tackling issues of dog fouling in Angus, with powers to issue fixed penalty notices to offenders and an amended shift pattern has been put in place to better address times where complaints are highest.

They have also worked with communities to identify and tackle problem areas of litter waste and fly-tipping. Community safety staff are also working with partners in waste management on litter initiatives relating to lunchtime and takeaway litter.

The surveys are arriving at 10,000 randomly selected households from this week and residents are being urged to take part and make a difference to the communities in which they live.

All Angus residents, however, will be able to respond via the partnership’s online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/anguscommunitysafety