Neigh­bourly way to bat­tle crime

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CRIM­I­NALS think­ing about tar­get­ing Lit­tle King­shill may want to think again when they re­alise its for­mi­da­ble Neigh­bour­hood Watch pres­ence.

The vil­lage of 520 house­holds has a ded­i­cated group of Neigh­bour­hood Watch co-or­di­na­tors keen to keep the rogue traders out and bring the com­mu­nity closer to­gether.

Area co-or­di­na­tor San­dra MacDon­ald heads up a team of 11 peo­ple who keep an eye on streets such as Wind­sor Lane, where Mrs MacDon­ald lives, and Long­field.

“We largely pass on in­for­ma­tion,” said Mrs MacDon­ald. “There is a very strong com­mu­nity spirit. It is prob­a­bly a re­sult of Neigh­bour­hood Watch and the vil­lage so­ci­ety bring­ing peo­ple to­gether.”

The co-or­di­na­tors re­port sus­pi­cious cold call­ers and let neigh­bours know of bur­glar­ies, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour or car crime.

Doorstep traders have re­cently aroused sus­pi­cions in the street. Stan­dard pro­ce­dure here is for the co-or­di­na­tors to in­form PCSOs who then check the traders’ li­cences.

Mrs MacDon­ald says if the PCSOs do not see the ap­pro­pri­ate pa­per­work, the trades­men are moved on ‘pretty damn quick’.

She says although Lit­tle King­shill may look like ‘a sleepy lit­tle vil­lage’, it can at­tract op­por­tunist crimes be­cause of its prox­im­ity to the A413.

The Neigh­bour­hood Watch in Lit­tle King­shill also lis­tens to peo­ple who may think their mat­ters are too triv­ial for the po­lice.

For in­stance, lad­ders went miss­ing from the out­side of a house and the owner told Mrs MacDon­ald. She then con­tacted the PCSOs and the lad­ders were soon re­cov­ered.

“A lot of peo­ple do not re­alise the im­por­tance of re­port­ing things,” she said. “They feel a bit fool­ish and it’s easy to con­tact me but I do not think it would oc­cur to them to con­tact the po­lice.”

The Neigh­bour­hood Watch reg­u­larly fea­tures in the vil­lage so­ci­ety’s mag­a­zine and holds an an­nual lit­ter pick.

Mrs MacDon­ald added: “It is not just about crime, it is about pride in your area.”

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