17 June 2016
Events will be taking place across the county from Saturday 18 June to Sunday 26 June 2016, led by local Neighbourhood and Home Watch groups.
Neighbourhood Watch groups are independent, but work together closely with partners, including the police, fire service, local authorities and local organisations, to bring people together to improve their communities.
• Gillingham Police Station, Saturday 18 June, 3pm – 5pm: Bike Marking
• Sandbanks Hotel, Poole, Sunday 19 June, 10am – 12pm: Cyber Crime Event
• Bucky Doo Square, Bridport, Wednesday 22 June, 9am – 2pm: Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch Information Event
• Savoy Hotel, Bournemouth, Saturday 25 June, 10.30am – 12.30pm: ‘Stay Safe’ Event
Neighbourhood Watch schemes first arrived in Dorset in 1983. A group was set up in the Boscombe East area by the then Home Beat Officer, Mike Moorcroft. Mike, now retired, still lives in Dorset and is still an active member of his local Neighbourhood Watch group, thirty three years on. He said: “I am delighted Dorset Watch schemes are still working in partnership with Dorset Police.
“When Neighbourhood Watch was first set up in Dorset, our focus was on encouraging people to be alert and aware in their communities. We urged people to get to know their neighbours, which in turn encouraged them to report suspicious activity.
“With residents working together, it was hoped we could reduce crime levels and reduce the fear of crime. The pilot scheme was deemed successful and over the next three years, I helped set up numerous Watch groups all over Dorset. I attended public meetings and assisted the local officers who were setting up and supporting the schemes.
“Dorset now has various watch schemes including Marine Watch and Farm Watch. There are plenty of opportunities to become involved in Watch schemes across the county and I would highly recommend these opportunities to anyone not yet involved.”
The police work closely with Watch groups, providing crime prevention advice and offering recommendations about issues such as personal safety, home security and staying safe online.
Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan added: “We hugely value the relationships we have with Dorset Watch groups. The networks we have built within communities play a significant part in keeping Dorset safe.
“We are looking forward to supporting the groups during this year’s Neighbourhood Watch Week and will be attending a number of community events.
“The Force shares a commitment with Watch groups, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour using a community driven, united approach.
“It is a privilege to work alongside them to achieve our common goals.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “The week is a great opportunity to celebrate the work of Neighbourhood and Home Watch volunteers and to learn more about their work.
“I would strongly encourage people to take part in the Watch scheme in their area. The groups are a crucial resource for Dorset Police, with an in depth understanding of their communities and the ability to spot suspicious activity quickly and report it to the police.
“I will always be an advocate of the community and the police working together and I’m sure this will be a successful week of sharing that work and encouraging others to get involved.”
Dorset residents can join their local Watch schemes via Dorset Alert, by visiting the Neighbourhood Watch website or by contacting their local Neighbourhood Policing Team via the Dorset Police website.
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