Scheme to keep crime at bay now online too

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ASHINGTON residents are being urged to sign up to a new virtual neighbourhood watch scheme.

Ashington currently has one of the largest neighbourhood watch schemes in the county, with more 2,500 members, and the police hope going online too will swell that figure by hundreds.

The new online scheme for the town aims to help residents keep their homes safe from thieves without having to take to the streets for patrols.

It offers many of the benefits of a traditional neighbourhood watch but allows people to take part from the comfort of their own home.

Inspector Barrie Joisce, of Ashington’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “Joining this new virtual scheme will give you the security to know that your neighbours are keeping an eye on your property.

“The more people that join the greater the impact on crime in the area.

“Being online is a simple and effective way of sending out real-time information to a pre-selected audience.

“The scheme is also designed to actively encourage the community to pass on information to their local officers which we will act on.”

Community support officer Anastasia Drozdowicz, the neighbourhood watch contact for the virtual Ashington scheme, added: “Neighbourhood watch is an ideal way of targeting a particular problem in an area.

“This scheme is managed by the local neighbourhood policing team at Ashington, and all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

“As a member, you’ll receive e-mail updates on issues in your area, as well as the opportunity to feedback and report any information you have on your neighbourhood via the internet.

“I’d encourage as many residents as possible to get involved to help create a safer and friendlier neighbourhood for all.”

To join the virtual neighbourhood watch scheme, call CSO Drozdowicz on 101 ext 69191 or e-mail ashington.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk