Police in Northumberland are ‘trying to go back to old-fashioned values’ by bringing back Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
Speaking at the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council last Monday, Inspector Liz Hall said it was about getting communities to look out for each other and pass on information, for example, about people who look out of place.
“Those things seem to have gone by the wayside over the years, but can be very successful,” she added.
Insp Hall said that elsewhere in the region, Wallsend had managed to secure funding to develop new schemes along these lines and asked councillors to tell here if there were communities they thought would be keen to get involved.
It comes as there have been a string of burglaries in the rural areas around Morpeth, such as Mitford, with intelligence pointing to both local and travelling criminals, rather than one offender.
However, across the sector, house burglaries have fallen in the year to date, while there has also been a reduction in vehicle crime. Anti-social behaviour has remained steady at the usual hotspots, both in Morpeth and the likes of Hadston, outside the Co-op.
Other ongoing initiatives in the area include Operation Signal which has had some ‘really good successes’ in protecting vulnerable people in rural areas who are being targeted for money in various ways, such as phone scams or doorstep selling.
Police are also about to launch a darker nights initiative to encourage crime prevention and plans are being developed for Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, when there tends to be an increase in anti-social behaviour.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service