More encouraged to join new Neighbourhood Watch scheme

THE MEETING to launch the new Rother Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (RNHW) at Bexhill Town Hall last week attracted a large number of residents eager to take part - but more are being encouraged to join.

The scheme, held in Council Chambers, was presented by RNHW chairman, Charles McIlwrick, and vice-chairmen, John Fielder, and Peter Wylie.

The groundbreaking scheme, which includes a discount card valid to selected businesses who signed up to the initiative, is the first of it’s kind in the country and is supported by the Observer series.

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John Fielder said he was pleased with the support from residents.

He said: “There was an excellent turn out to the meeting and we have signed up three new co-ordinators, with two more in the pipeline, but it’s important that more residents sign up.

“If we had more members then maybe situations where people who are left freezing in the snow wouldn’t happen.”

Emphasising the schemes slogan, We Need You, You Need Each Other , John said it is not about “curtain twitchers”.

If residents spot something they think may be suspicious, but are unsure, then they simply contact their local co-ordinator who will offer advice and if necessary report back to the police.

John said: “The police community patrol is still out there but they are just one pair of eyes whereas one street can have as many as 100 pair of eyes.”

Also attending the meeting was MP for Bexhill and Battle, Greg Barker, who applauded the new initiative.

He said: “Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are community-led and community-owned and is the largest voluntary organisation in the UK.

“People take responsibility for themselves and their neighbours. The value of Neighbourhood Watch goes beyond just solving crime. It helps those that are isolated, vulnerable, or living alone - it is invaluable. “

Also attending the meeting, along with RNHW businesses members, was Bexhill Town Mayor, Jimmy Caroll, who endorsed MR Barkers speech adding: “I’m a great believer in everyone getting together and helping each other.”

The meeting ended with a question and answer session.

To join RNHW or for further information visit the website at: www.rotherneighbourhoodwatch.org.uk or call 01424 846733.

PICTURED: The meeting