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Police in Islington want residents to help revive Neighbourhood Watch schemes

Amid dwindling numbers of volunteers, police seek to recruit public to help them tackle crime

02 February, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

POLICE in Islington are looking to revive Neighbourhood Watch schemes in a bid to tackle crimes locally.

Inspector Steven Murfin, from Islington neighbourhood police, said the past two to three years have seen a decline in the number of active schemes, in which communities work with authorities to feed back local problems.

He told the Tribune: “Through Neighbourhood Watches, we get more information from the public and it best serves them to deal with issues locally. Often they know the area better than us so we want them to tell us what problems there are.”

He said he did not know the reason behind the apparent drop off, and specific numbers were not available on the groups still running.

Inspector Murfin used the online private social network Nextdoor to spread the word about the revival and hopes to see more younger residents getting involved to shape their community.

“We want to interact better with members of the public,” he added.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes were first founded in the 1980s and rely on local people volunteering their time to ensure it is a success. They feed back local intelligence to police: for example, if a rogue builder was seen operating in an area.

Councillor Andy Hull, Islington’s community safety chief, supported the plans.

He said: “I think police don’t have a monopoly on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and Steven is right in that the community have the experience and can bring that to the table.

“They can provide community intelligence and understand geography. They are the eyes and ears to see and hear on the ground. You cannot possibly have officers policing all parts of the borough all the time.”

He added: “I do not think it is the job for the community to replace statutory services that the council and police are losing due to government cuts. But I think we need both.”

To become a member, set up a scheme or find out more information, contact PC Sara Langridge or PC Heather Farrell at


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