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Police Chief awards Herts Watch Chair for her outstanding achievement

18 Jun 2021
  • Sue Thompson is retiring after 17 years as the chair of Herts Watch.

  • Her achievements were recognised by the Chief Constable.

  • Residents are encouraged to sign up to the Online Watch Link (OWL) system to receive alerts from police.

After 17 years leading the county’s Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and Online Watch Link (OWL), volunteer Chair of Herts Watch Sue Thompson has retired.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall presented Sue, who was also the Three Rivers NHW district co-ordinator, with a commendation for her outstanding voluntary contribution this week, alongside Superintendent Matt Phillips and Chief Inspector Pete Frost.

Sue has been so successful leading Herts Watch – the umbrella committee for NHW and OWL – that is it one of the best schemes in the country.

More than 160,000 households already signed up to OWL receive regular messages about local crime, scams and missing people. Why not join today?

Chief Constable Hall said: “I was delighted to present Sue with a commendation for all her hard work and success in developing OWL and NHW across the county, making it one of the strongest schemes in the country.

“We are indebted to her for giving up her free time to really make a positive difference, connecting the police with thousands of households throughout the county and, importantly, helping to reassure our communities.”

Police colleagues Julie Lloyd and Penny Brown from the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Unit also attended the presentation, along with Watch Liaison Officers Derrick Sweeney, Phil Waine and Verity Soued and Broxbourne district co-ordinator Terry Morris.

Sue said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the police and I’m delighted to leave Neighbourhood Watch in such a strong position. I feel sad to be leaving work that I have enjoyed doing for so long and more importantly saying goodbye to those people who have become treasured and valued friends. It was a truly memorable occasion which I can treasure for many years to come. I still haven’t got over the fact that Charlie Hall thought it was important to leave his desk to come and join us!”

Penny Brown said: “In addition to her strategic and leadership work, Sue has spent many hours at home physically assembling more than 93,000 Neighbourhood Watch packs on our behalf, which has saved the constabulary around £15,000 over the last six years and has saved countless staff hours for us.”

Neighbourhood Watch is a long-established concept of simply looking out for your neighbours and helping the police by being the ‘ears and eyes’ within your local area. It’s about prevention, reassurance and safety.

Hertfordshire has more than 160,000 members signed up to Online Watch Link (OWL), which is over a third of all households in the county, making it one of the best in the country. Broxbourne has the most OWL sign-ups in the county, with an impressive 59 per cent.

Deputy NHW chair Keith Batchelor is temporarily filling Sue’s shoes until a new recruit can be found. The voluntary role includes chairing four NHW meetings a year, meeting the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, working closely with the police Community Reduction and Community Safety Unit and supporting the district co-ordinators when needed. Estimated hours are about 10 to 30 a month and basic expenses will be paid.

For further information, please email Keith Batchelor.

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