Dedicated volunteer recognised for contribution to Neighbourhood Watch
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A devoted Neighbourhood Watch volunteer has been recognised for her valued contribution to local policing in Watford.
Tania Gudka took on the role of the town’s volunteer Neighbourhood Watch District Coordinator at the end of last year, and since then she has recruited more than 60 new street coordinators to help build Watford district’s membership at grass roots level. An inaugural Street Coordinators meeting was held in June, with another planned for later this year.
Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman presented Tania with an award at Watford Police Station earlier this month.
Tania has dedicated hours of her time to streamlining the local Online Watch Link (OWL) database, as well as training new coordinators and providing mentorship in their volunteer roles. Since she took on the role Tania’s efforts have generated hundreds of new members for the district, with 69 new people signing up in August 2023 alone.
OWL is a great tool that enables coordinators, police officers and police staff to send out messages to residents at the click of a button about a range of topics including crime trends, scams to be aware of, neighbourhood events, good news stories and police surgeries.
Tania said: “I retired after more than 25 years in commercial banking, due to having a rare kidney disease. I have been involved as a Watch Coordinator for my road for 17 years, and I wanted to get involved in something that would use the skills and knowledge I have gained by adding value and giving back to my community. I am passionate about community involvement, helping residents stay safe and keeping our area crime free.”
Watford Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman said: “It was a pleasure to meet Tania and to personally thank her for the fantastic work she has done and continues to do. Our volunteers are a vital part of the policing family, and we truly value their contribution.
“Their efforts help Watford residents to be better informed about what is happening in their area. The Neighbourhood Watch scheme encourages greater communication with the police – often providing us with useful information – while helping reduce crime, and the fear of crime.”
To sign up, visit the OWL website (opens in new window) or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app on your mobile to receive your local police and relevant partner messages.
Most OWL messages are sent out via email – you do not have to do anything but act on the simple crime prevention advice, for example making sure your home looks lived in by investing in timer switches ahead of the clocks going back next month.