AN NEW agreement will see a tighter bond being built between Sussex Police and local neighbourhood watch groups in the Arun district.
District commander, Chief Inspector Pip Taylor, Robin Hargraves, chairman of Rustington and District Neighbourhood Watch (RADNWA) and John Holman, secretary of Bognor Regis Neighbourhood Watch met on Wednesday (June 25) to officially agree the levels of service expected of both organisations.
It’s hoped the new arrangement will improve communication and efficiency in combatting crime across the area.
Mr Holman said “This service level agreement (SLA) is about improving communications between neighbourhood watch and Sussex Police in both directions, and builds upon our existing SLA covering a wider field.
“Good communication is vital to our partnership: we recognise that passing on timely and relevant information is crucial at every link in the communication chain, and our volunteers in Neighbourhood Watch are committed to playing their part. We are pleased to endorse this agreement.”
Mr Hargraves added that the agreement outlined both organisations’ commitment to one another.
“With this in place we look forward to even closer contact with our volunteer road co-ordinators with a resulting reduction in crime, fear of crime and increased intelligence reporting from our members,” he said. “We already have a good working relationship with Arun police by having joint surgeries and property marking exercises.”
Chief Inspector Taylor said she was optimistic about the new agreement.
“We work extremely closely with the neighbourhood watch and are fully supportive of the work they do,” she added. “It is a pleasure to sign and agree the SLA and look forward to our continued partnership working.”
This local agreement follows a county-level signing by police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne, Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith and Neighbourhood Watch Federation chairman John Wright, at the end of May.