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Neighbourhood Watch scheme formed in Long Melford to help deter criminal activity

Community support is building for a new crime prevention network in Long Melford, in response to concerns following a number of recent break-ins.

A public meeting will take place in Long Melford Village Hall next month to mark the launch of the village’s new Neighbourhood Watch scheme, with residents urged to join in to help keep their neighbourhoods safe.

The initiative has been set up by parish councillor Lisa Tipper in the wake of several burglaries at homes and businesses over the last few months, most recently on January 8, when suspects used sledgehammers to smash their way into the Nethergate Brewery in Rodbridge Corner, before stealing thousands of pounds from a safe inside.

General Views - Neighbourhood Watch Sign. (27521566)
General Views - Neighbourhood Watch Sign. (27521566)

Cllr Tipper, who will serve as the main co-ordinator, told the Free Press that the purpose of the scheme is to co-ordinate ‘look out’ groups to report possible suspicious activity and to spread crime prevention and safety advice from police.

“I think it’s important we have a Neighbourhood Watch group because these schemes do reduce crime by about 10 per cent in the areas they are in,” she said.

“We don’t have a lot of crime in Long Melford, but there have been a few break-ins recently, which were opportunistic.

“When I was a youngster, I saw that Neighbourhood Watch schemes were quite a good tool. It’s a great way for people to keep others informed of what’s going on and another big role is preventing loneliness and preventing cyber crime.

“I’ve seen a lot of people who have really welcomed the thought of setting up a group. It has had some great feedback.”

Cllr Tipper added that she is keen to recruit sub co-ordinators to help manage volunteers in specific areas of Long Melford, due to the large size of the village.

The launch meeting is set to take place in the village hall on Saturday, February 22, from 10am. It will include a question-and-answer session and a talk by Pc Jon Gerrish, the community engagement officer for Sudbury and Haverhill.

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