NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH … IT’S NOT ‘JUST ABOUT STOPPING CRIME’, YOU MAY JUST SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE
You may have heard of ‘Operation Assist’, which is an initiative to by the Police aimed at helping vulnerable people in the community, not just over the Festive Season, but all year long.
You, as Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators, will know your communities well and will probably be knowledgeable about any vulnerable people living close to you, as will the people involved within your Watch network.
All the Police are asking for is that you keep your eye on those vulnerable people and occasionally knock on the door to see how they are doing and, if there are any issues of concern contact PC 54 Tracey Carruthers or any member of the Neighbourhood Policing Team in your area. If you don’t know the direct phone number for your Neighbourhood Policing Team just phone 101, tell the Police Communications Officer your concerns and the area you live in, and they will pass your message on to the appropriate Officer and make PC 54 Carruthers aware.
You might ask yourself what can I watch out for? Well here are a few tips:
- Do you see the person going to the shop, or having a walk at a certain time of the day?
- If they do and all of a sudden you don’t see them, then this would be a good time to check to make sure they are okay.
- Do they open their curtains every day at a certain time?
- If the curtains remain closed all day, which is unusual for them, knock on the door, if there is no answer, try shouting through the letterbox to see if you can get a response.
- Does the person have milk delivered and it is taken in every day?
- If the milk remains out, again knock on the door. (If they have gone away then perhaps you can take the milk in and let the milkman know they’ve forgotten to stop the milk).
- Is there a lot of post piling up in the doorway or does the person seem to be getting unusually large amounts of post?
- This could mean the person is either ill, away or is being scammed (in the case of unusually large amounts of post).
In all of the above scenarios, if you don’t get an answer (or in the case of the last comment about scammers), please contact the PC 54 Carruthers or your Neighbourhood Policing Team straight away.
If you knock on the door and no one answers, or if the person comes to the door, and you get the feeling that all is not right, phone the Police and they will call on the person and see if they need assistance. The Police would rather you phone than not if you get an inkling there is something wrong.
The Police have also put packs together which contains:
Leaflets, information and telephone numbers such as:
- Crime Prevention material
- Help Direct numbers
- Safer Trader information
- ‘Think Jessica’ (how to deal with scam mail)
- ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers
- Just Good Friends’ friendship group
- Age U.K. information
- Salvation Army contact details
- Fire Service (smoke alarm installation/service)
- Jingle Bells for purses/bags
- Safe cans
- Personal alarms.
The Police will also make sure there is food in the house, the house is warm and the person does not need medical assistance or a family member/friend needs to be contacted.
By observing life in your community, and knowing what is normal and what isn’t, as I said at the start, you’ll not only stop crime in your Neighbourhood, but you may just save someone’s life! NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL ‘COMMUNITY SPIRIT’!
Sue Blackburn, Watch Liaison Officer, Lancashire Constabulary, Western Division