Neighbourly way to battle crime
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.”