More than 20 Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Derby and Derbyshire have received micro grants to launch or expand their membership thanks to a fund developed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has awarded funding for individual Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) schemes in support of their work to prevent crime and reassure residents through the Neighbourhood Watch Support Fund (NHWSF).
The funding, which has been allocated in two separate rounds over the past 12 months and has been invested in a variety of ways from family safety events and summer fetes through to promotional leaflets and the launch of new schemes covering thousands of households.
The NHWSF, which was launched at the NHW AGM in November, enables schemes to apply for up to £250 per proposal to help improve community safety, promote NHW and support new and existing NHW schemes.
The overarching aim of the fund is to increase the number of watch schemes in Derbyshire and the membership base. Applications are pre-screened by Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch Association Trust (DNWAT) prior to being submitted to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has pledged to support the expansion of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across the city and county as part of her Police and Crime Plan priority to address Neighbourhood Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.
She is also working to increase community confidence in reporting crime and anti-social behaviour.
Announcing the completion of the 2021-22 Fund, Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “Neighbourhood Watch is a vital partner in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour and supports wider efforts to reduce fear in our communities and support those who are isolated or more vulnerable.
“My Neighbourhood Watch Support Fund has supported the launch of new Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Derby and Derbyshire, reaching thousands of additional homes and connecting residents with like-minded neighbours who can help them stay safe.
“We all value the work undertaken by our Neighbourhood Watch. They provide a vital bridge between the police and our communities. Their efforts and the contributions of members have helped prevent crime and make a difference to many lives.”
Among the schemes to receive grants was Shardlow Village NHW which received £228 to help launch its Neighbourhood Watch scheme covering 650 households. The grant provided funding for promotional material including NHW Handbooks, dustbin stickers, personal alarms and sign- up advertising via Facebook.
Thorpe Village NHW received £167.60 to help promote its new scheme covering 300 households across the village while Risley NHW was awarded £250 to cover the cost of promotional material at a family fun day for the neighbourhood to celebrate 40 years of Neighbourhood Watch.
Lynn Farrar, Chair of DNWAT, said: “We in Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch (DNWAT) are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner, Angelique Foster, for providing a total of £5,000 for the Neighbourhood Support Fund.
“The Police and Crime Commissioner agreed to provide the funds to DNWAT to enable us to award up to £250 to Neighbourhood Watch groups and members to start new schemes and improve ones that have been operating in the community for some time.
“We have been able to make an award to 21 schemes and this means Neighbourhood Watch volunteers can provide signage, stickers, safety equipment, and hold meetings to help fight crime and introduce ways of preventing crime in their communities. In some cases, we have been able to set up social media for groups to give them a better method to communicate quickly with their members. Our volunteers give their time freely in the endeavour to keep their neighbourhoods safe and to bring their communities together.”
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