Where’s your Watch?

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton with members of the Southwood Lawn Road and Highgate Avenue Neighbourhood watchTo launch the ‘Where’s your Watch?’ Campaign, to encourage local streets to start Neighbourhood Watch groups, Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton recently went to speak to a newly started Neighbourhood Watch in Highgate.
 
Residents on Southwood Lawn Road and Highgate Avenue started their ‘Watch’ after a recent spate of burglaries. With the help of Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the neighbours decided to do their bit to help keep homes on their street safe.
 
To encourage other streets to follow suit, Local Liberal Democrats are now writing to streets in Hornsey and Wood Green that do not already have a ‘Watch’.
 
Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council are also fighting to get the post of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, recently axed by Haringey Police, reinstated by the Council.
 
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
 
“Neighbourhood Watch groups are great. They can help cut crime, reduce the fear of crime, and they can be a fantastic way for neighbours to get to know each other better.
 
“And that certainly seems to be the case with the Southwood Lawn and Highgate Avenue Watch. There was an impressive turnout for the meeting and a fantastic sense of community.
 
“I hope our ‘Where’s your Watch’ campaign will result in other local streets reaping the same benefits.”
 
Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:
 
“Being a victim of crime is awful, and the recent burglaries on Southwood Lawn Road have really shocked the residents. But they are certainly doing what they can to stop this happening again.
 
“With better contact with the local police, I really got a sense of the neighbours feeling empowered and more in control. When people look out for each other we get better, warmer, friendlier communities – not a bad return for starting a Neighbourhood Watch!
 
“Liberal Democrats on the Council recognise the importance of Neighbourhood Watch groups and recently proposed to fund the axed Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator in Haringey. It was a shame however that Labour decided that this is not a priority and voted against our proposal.”

Lynne Featherstone MP meets top police boss over worries of cuts to Safer Neighbourhood Teams

Lynne Featherstone and Cllr Martin Newton with acting Borough Commander Chris BarclayPolice bosses in Haringey have given assurances that local residents’ safety concerns will be paramount to any decision on the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) following a meeting, last week, with Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton. The Acting Borough Commander, Chris Barclay, also assured Liberal Democrats that Muswell Hill Police Station will not close unless an equal or better alternative with front counter provision is in place.
 
Commander Barclay was presented with a collection of residents’ views on policing priorities, after local Liberal Democrats surveyed local people on their views about SNT provision. The Liberal Democrats issued their own survey on SNTs, as the Metropolitan police launched a review of the ward based teams.

In the survey, local people highlighted issues around perceptions of safety, and the knock-on effect on local crime rates if SNT numbers were cut.

A particular preference was expressed for more police presence late at night in areas like Muswell Hill Broadway. The Acting Borough Commander assured the Liberal Democrats that residents’ views will be considered before any changes are made to Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The Safer Neighbourhood Teams have done wonders for our local community. With well-known faces out on the beat, and a high police visibility, residents clearly feel safer, and crime goes down.

“Residents echoed the same sentiment in many of the survey responses: ­ they value and cherish their local police team, and don’t want to see their numbers cut.

“I’m delighted with the assurances that local people’s views will be given full consideration before any changes to SNTs take place, and I’m equally delighted with his assurances on Muswell Hill Police station!”

Haringey Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:

“These are uncertain times, and the police have had a cut to their budget. We understand that tough decisions have to be made, but at the same time we feel that it’s critical that top bosses understand just how much the local community value their Safer Neighbourhood Teams to keep crime down in their local area.

“I believe we have given the police a strong message today: local policing matters, and local people don’t want to see any drastic changes to their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams.”