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Community watch: Ap-PEEL-ing touch of ancient in modern world

February 20, 2013
SIR ROBERT PEEL: Values from a bygone age

SIR ROBERT PEEL: Values from a bygone age

A RECRUITMENT drive has enlisted the help of Tamworth’s most famous crime-fighting politician to keep homeowners across Staffordshire safe in the 21st century.

New village and district champions are being sought to build secure, confident communities – by returning to the values laid down by the town’s long-serving MP and Victorian Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel.

I feel that the ideals of the man who founded the Metropolitan Police nearly 200 years ago are just as relevant today as they were in the 1830s as the latest search for Neighbourhood Watch supremos gets underway.

In my role as Staffordshire’s deputy police and crime commissioner I intend to follow his ‘people are the police’ principles which established crime-fighters and the public as equals in terms of effective policing – sharing ownership, responsibility, and accountability for the prevention of crime.

When police work with the community and focus on crime-related concerns, they form a vital bond which leads to safer, stronger neighbourhoods.

Like something out of Africa, we are looking for a new breed of neighbourhood elders who will help foster a community spirit and, at the same time, bring peace of mind.”

There are more than 4,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Staffordshire with a total of over 20,000 members across the area.

The main aims of the schemes are to prevent crime and reduce opportunities of them occuring by improving crime prevention awareness, increasing vigilance and helping aid the development and sustainability of a caring community.

The village and district crime-fighters will be called on to assist police in detecting crime by promoting effective two-way communication and prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.

They will also help to increase public reassurance and reduce undue fear of crime with accurate information and promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly among the more vulnerable members of the community.

I reckon that even after nearly two centuries, we have a lot for which to thank Sir Robert.

He was certainly far-sighted in his approach to communication between police and public – an ancient in a modern world.

  • If you think you’ve got what it takes to lead the way in one of Staffordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch schemes, then call 01785 232 385 today.
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