Neighbourhood Watch Annual Awards
Neighbourhood Watch is living proof of the significant contribution we can all play in keeping our communities safe, and the 2012 Essex Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator of the Year awards celebrated some of the scheme’s most committed members.
The overall winner of the Essex Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator of the Year Award 2012 was Valerie Trundle. Valerie, who lives in Stansted Mountfitchet, has led the team of local Co-ordinators in this large and growing village for the last four years.
At that time, Stansted was a crime hotspot in terms of burglary and general nuisance, with only about ten percent of the homes covered by a scheme. Valerie, a parish councillor, was given the task of regenerating Neighbourhood Watch in the village. She began by recruiting volunteers, and now the village enjoys 100 percent coverage with around 80 Co-ordinators. Nick Alston, the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, was delighted to have been asked to attend and present some of the awards.
Nick congratulated overall winner Valerie Trundle and said “The test of any scheme is its sustainability and now four years on, Valerie is still leading the way and the village still has full coverage. It would be great if, all across the county, people strive to achieve similar levels of Neighbourhood Watch coverage. In helping deliver this for Stansted, Valerie has made a positive contribution to crime prevention and community safety within her community’.
A Special Award was also given to Braintree resident Neil MacDonald, in his former capacity as Vice Chair of the Essex Police Authority. The County Association made this special award to a good friend and a wise councillor, and to thank him for the much appreciated support he has given to Neighbourhood Watch in Essex over the past six years.
Nick Alston added: “I was proud to meet people who are performing such important grassroots work in our communities.
“Neighbourhood Watch, and the Watch movement in general, is a great way for people to learn the facts about crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in their area, and to work with their neighbours and the police to keep their communities safe.
“There are Neighbourhood Watch schemes supporting around forty percent of households in Essex, and I’m keen to see that number rise even higher. We all want to live in safe, vibrant and friendly communities and Neighbourhood Watch is a great example of people taking responsibility and working together.”
Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason commented that Essex Police are grateful for the hard work that all the Co-ordinators do for their communities, and it was a pleasure to recognise the exceptional efforts that these finalists have made. Neighbourhood Watch is a fine example of dedicated volunteers working with the police service to make Essex a safer place.
Alan Johnson, Chair of the Essex County Neighbourhood Watch Association, welcomed the opportunity the awards provided to recognise the value of Co-ordinators across the whole of Essex, and commented: “We are delighted that our partners in Essex Police and the former Police Authority support this award. It is a clear sign that the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex values the dedication and hard work that these voluntary Co-ordinators give to their communities, and we look forward to working with Mr Alston now that he taken over the task of reducing crime on behalf of the people of Essex.”