Streetwatch scheme fighting to carry on
PETERSFIELD Streetwatch and district council representatives are to meet the Hampshire Police Crime Commissioner to enlist support in continuing residents patrols.
Petersfield Streetwatch sees insured volunteers walk roads around Rival Moor and Cranford Road to check for vandalism and anti social behaviour, which is reported to the police.
The meeting with commissioner Simon Hayes follows the collapse of the national umbrella organisation, after a failed bid to the government and Association of Chief Police Officers for a £100,000 grant to grow it.
This left local groups in disarray and patrols stopped as they began checking their paperwork and that they still had police backing.
Petersfield and Rival Moor Streetwatch co-ordinator Steve Dewey said: “We are insured until March, so patrols will resume immediately. Once everything is in place funding is available, and we are hoping Mr Hayes can help.”
East Hants District Commander Chief Inspector James Fulton, said: “Local police continue to support local schemes, and will work with them to keep community patrols active on the streets of Petersfield and Four Marks.”
East Hampshire District Council community safety manager Karen Dawes liaises with the local Streetwatch and said: “Matters being considered include insurance, communications and patrol rotas, and I can’t see why the patrols should stop as there is such good community support.”
Once the details are sorted out, money reimbursed when the national organisation folded and held by the council, will help fund the groups.
However this won’t sustain them, as it costs about £500 a year to run each one, with £300 of insurance.
The collapse of the national scheme led to Streetwatch founder Chief Inspector Phil Kedge of Hampshire Police and Maz Hebbron, both from Four Marks, and Hampshire co-ordinator Dave Bridges from Petersfield, stepping down.
Former national co-ordinator Maz Hebbron said: “A partnership with police is vital otherwise groups may be seen as vigilantes.
“Insured groups should check they can still operate outside the national framework until the insurance renewal date.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Petersfield
Thursday 12 December 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South