Hertfordshire Police urges Dacorum residents to sign up to Online Watch Link to help keep their communities safe

The force is supporting Neighbourhood Watch Week - which starts on June 5

Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:48 pm

Hertfordshire Police is supporting Neighbourhood Watch Week - which starts on Saturday, June 5 - by encouraging people to stay connected and 'listen.talk.do!'.

The force is encouraging residents to sign up to Online Watch Link (OWL) to help keep their communities safe.

It also wants people to reconnect, celebrate what’s local and listen to their neighbours, talk and reach out to help support people locally and help the recovery effort with something that helps everyone, for example a litter pick or a Covid-19 safe street party.

PCSO John Hainsworth with local resident, Jackie, signing up to OWL

Neighbourhood Watch is a long-established concept of simply looking out for your neighbours and helping the police by being the ‘ears and eyes’ within your local area.

By signing up to Online Watch Link, you will receive relevant emails about issues within your local area - such as a nearby burglary or details of thefts from vehicles with useful crime prevention advice.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Frost, lead for community safety in Hertfordshire, said: “We are very fortunate in Hertfordshire to have over 160,000 members signed up to OWL, which

is more than a third of all households in the county.

"But we would love to see more people sign up to OWL and Neighbourhood Watch.

"OWL has been crucial over the past 15 months in updating residents about a number of important issues throughout the pandemic from how we have policed lockdown to details of scams and frauds, domestic abuse helplines and appeals to trace missing people.”

He continued: “This is not down to luck though. The success of OWL is down to volunteers who have worked tirelessly to promote the scheme to help prevent and reduce crime and reassure the public in Hertfordshire.

"This work is also supported by local PCSOs and policing teams.”

Herts Watch, the umbrella committee for Neighbourhood Watch in Hertfordshire, has been led by Sue Thompson who after 17 years of volunteering is retiring from the role.

Deputy Chairman Keith Batchelor will be stepping in until a permanent person is recruited.

DCI Frost said: “Alongside her strong strategic and leadership work, Sue has inspired many people to volunteer as well as spending many hours physically assembling thousands of

Neighbourhood Watch membership packs, saving the force thousands of pounds.

"We are very grateful for her outstanding contribution to crime prevention, and I would like to thank her for her support and contribution.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd added: “I am proud that we have the best supported Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the country, with more residents and businesses signed up than anywhere else. The system relies on neighbours looking out for one another and it helps prevent crime and catch offenders.

"I would urge those who have not done so to join and help your community.”

Hertfordshire has one of the largest and best Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the country with over 35 per cent of households in Hertfordshire already signed up to OWL.

DCI Frost added: “If you are not already signed up, now is a really good time to join OWL and it’s so quick, simple and effective. Go to www.owl.co.uk/herts and add your postcode

and email address.

"All you have to do is take on board the crime prevention messages, keep an eye out for your neighbours and call us if you suspect a crime is in progress on 999. Otherwise, we ask residents to report online or call 101.”

An OWL live chats will take place at Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead, on Saturday, June 12 and a Neighbourhood Watch event at Sainsbury’s in Potters Bar on Wednesday, June 9.

If you have some experience of community work and would like to apply to volunteer for a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator role in Dacorum contact Keith Batchelor by emailing [email protected]