Meet your new Watch Liaison Officer – Watford and Three Rivers
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The new Watch Liaison Officer is looking forward to working with local volunteers and police Safer Neighbourhood teams to further increase the number of households signed up to OWL (Online Watch Link) to help reduce and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour across Watford and Three Rivers.
Sandra Jackson was previously the volunteer Neighbourhood Watch district co-ordinator for Dacorum and has worked at HMP The Mount and as a parish councillor.
She joined the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Unit based at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City in September.
She said: “We’ve come a very long way from the perceived curtain twitching of the past. We are able to inform local residents about things that matter in their communities, such as local burglaries and how to keep safe online from various ever-changing scams, as well as requests for help with missing people and much more using OWL. Trading Standards, the NHS and fire service are all partnered with us to help spread useful information.”
She said: “There has never been a better time for residents to sign up to www.owl.co.uk/herts (Opens in a new window) or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app so they are better informed and less likely to be a victim of crime. We can message members directly with accurate, local and relevant crime prevention advice. OWL is a brilliant way for local officers to communicate with local residents and create a conduit where information is more likely to be fed back to police.”
She added: “Crime is lower in neighbourhood watch areas - this can possibly be evidenced in Broxbourne where there has been a massive increase in neighbourhood watch membership in the last few years due to amazing diligence from the local community and Safer Neighbourhood Teams and crime levels appear to have dropped. Of course, there can be many reasons for a decline in crime levels, but neighbourhood watch is one of the factors making it less attractive for criminals to operate in that area.”
Over a third – 170,000 households – are already signed up to OWL, making Hertfordshire one of the best Neighbourhood watch schemes in the country.