Stay alert during watch week

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POLICE are reminding people to stay vigilant as the nation celebrates Neighbourhood Watch Week.

The scheme was created in 1982 to provide a partnership between residents, police, councils and voluntary organisations in a bid to drive down crime.

In Northumberland there are 85 such schemes, but officers are advising members and non-members alike that key messages from the initiative can apply to all communities, such as looking out for neighbours, reporting suspicious activity and remembering to lock doors and windows.

People are asked to specifically take care of elderly or vulnerable neighbours, and due to the rise in metal prices and increase in metal theft they should be alert to suspicious activity involving scrap metal and report any concerns.

Chief Inspector Bob Ryan said: “The police working together with Neighbourhood Watch provides a great opportunity to find sustainable solutions to local problems and also encourages residents to become actively involved in the welfare and safety of our community.

“By working together we aim to make people feel safer, become more involved in reducing crime and support the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“Although we are taking the opportunity presented by Neighbourhood Watch Week to get our crime prevention messages across, being a good neighbour should be a year-round consideration.”