Top praise for Littlehampton’s crime fighters

Mike Cullern during the neighbourhood watch's Project Unity launch        L42565H12
Mike Cullern during the neighbourhood watch's Project Unity launch L42565H12

TWO years of steadfast work to help rid Littlehampton’s streets of crime and anti-social behaviour by the town’s neighbourhood watch have received national acclaim.

The Littlehampton and District Neighbourhood Watch Association (LDNWA) have been named as a finalist in the National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Award 2014, for its outstanding work in helping to reduce crime.

The prestigious awards ceremony recognises the nation’s top neighbourhood watch groups. It will be taking place in Westminster on June 20.

Chairman of the group, Mike Cullern, said he was surprised at the nomination. He said: “It is an outstanding success for the Littlehampton community as a whole.

“A lot of hard work by our members, members of the public, schools, businesses and both local and district councils and Sussex Police during the past 18 months helped us to achieve this distinction across the UK as a whole.

“I look forward now to the coming 12 months to see what else our group and the town community can achieve when we work together to regain its ‘lost community spirit’.”

“As a group, we were really surprised at being listed as a finalist for this award. However, all of our volunteers have worked really hard in the past two years in putting Littlehampton town and our local neighbourhood watch association on the wider map.”

During the past two years, the group has worked on several campaigns to fight crime and improve communities.

Through their efforts, crime has been reduced by five per cent within the town, with more people reporting anti-social behaviour than in recent years.

Increased reporting to the police has resulted in arrests of people cultivating cannabis.

The group also introduced a junior neighbourhood watch to the River Beach Primary School which has been a rousing success. The scheme has been endorsed by Sussex Police, the River Ward Development Panel, and town and district councils.

They achieved funding for ‘Project Unity’, which aims to integrate minority ethnic groups into the mainstream community and to rekindle lost community spirit.

More recently, they have been fighting to stop problem pet-owners from letting their dog foul in the town’s streets.

Arun district commander, Chief Inspector Pip Taylor has praised the neighbourhood watch for all its efforts, saying the group has become an integral part of the town.

She said: “I am privileged to have such a proactive and supportive Neighbourhood Watch for my district and I am proud to see them nominated for this award.

“I wish them every success at the ceremony and look forward to continued working with them over the coming year.”