Calls to save Welwyn Hatfield Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator

CALLS have been made to save the job of a key member of Welwyn Hatfield’s Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) scheme, as Hertfordshire Constabulary looks to save cash amid mounting financial pressures.

Watch co-ordinators in Hatfield have asked police not to axe the position of Watch Liaison Officer (WLO) Christel Anslow, as the force’s review of staff roles gets under way.

The WLO position is among those under review, but Sanjay Chibber, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for The Ryde area, is leading calls to keep the post.

“As our WLO, Christel has been pivotal in coordinating and supporting our neighbourhood watch scheme in The Ryde area,” Mr Chibber said. “She acts as a bridge between us and the local police and has directly contributed to our community becoming more safe and secure.

“If her position were to go, our scheme would be left without a dedicated point of contact, and I cannot imagine how we will fare without a regular flow of information, intelligence and point of co-ordination, which is so essential to keep our small community comprising 300 plus households in The Ryde safe.”

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Detective chief superintendent Andy Shrives said: “Neighbourhood Watch is one of the cornerstones of effective, community-focused policing.

“In the face of extremely challenging financial pressures on the police, we will retain our support and commitment to all watch schemes across Hertfordshire and deliver an efficient and effective service, which meets the needs of all involved in Neighbourhood Watch countywide.

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“Therefore, we have started a review of staff roles carried out within the Constabulary including Neighbourhood Watch support and administration. We are doing this in consultation with our staff and the staff associations, including Unison, and with the independent NW organisation in Hertfordshire, HertsWatch.”

He added: Until the outcome of this review, it is not possible to say at this stage what the final results will be in terms of staff posts.”

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