NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch groups in Hucknall and the rest of Nottinghamshire are taking their fight against crime online.
The county’s Neighbourhood Watch Association is the umbrella organisation for such schemes which help to protect more than 100,000 homes through a network of 30,000 volunteer members.
A new website, www.nottswatch.com, is being funded by the county council. It will be used to keep the public informed about the latest crime and community safety news, local police officer contacts, where the nearest watch scheme is based, and who to contact about setting up a new scheme. Information about local events, training and advice can be downloaded free.
Free basic computer training in libraries is being offered to all Nottinghamshire watch members so that they can access and use the website effectively.
The website is linked to the Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Alert Scheme messaging system. This allows police, trading standards and other organisations to quickly distribute alerts about crime and community safety directly to e-mail addresses and mobile phones.
The county council is financing the website as part of a £14,500 package of support for the association. This includes training 160 members on how to run a scheme of community safety techniques and personal safety.
The council has also funded two conferences for watch volunteers, the second to be held on Saturday November 24.
The chairman of the council’s community safety committee, Coun Mick Murphy (Con), of Hucknall, said: “Neighbourhood Watch groups make a fantastic and often unheralded contribution to safety and security in communities the length and breadth of Nottinghamshire.
“I am delighted that the county council has been able to provide financial support which will help the groups to share best practice, communicate better and generally be even more effective in our shared aim of making local communities safer.
”We hope the website lead to more watch groups being created.”