Keeping a watchful eye on the countryside

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The Cotswold Blog is a collection of diary entries, news, gossip and other Cotswold related information.

Keeping a watchful eye on the countryside

Thames Valley Police, in conjunction with the West Oxfordshire Safer Communities Partnership are re-launching Country Watch across West Oxfordshire on Thursday 17th April.

The launch will take place at Blenheim Palace near Woodstock from 6-8pm and is open to anyone living or working in West Oxfordshire. Visitors will be able to get advice from the district’s Crime Reduction Adviser and Thames Valley Police Wildlife Crime Officer as well as meet their rural Police Community Support Officer. There will also be environmental crime and rural and wildlife crime displays

Country Watch schemes operate on a similar basis to Neighbourhood Watch where members receive crime alerts and witness appeals direct from the police. Membership is free and a welcome pack contains specific crime reduction leaflets and signs to display on property.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Communities at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “The Country scheme strengthens community spirit as everyone plays their part in protecting their property therefore reducing the opportunity for crime in rural communities. It also improves the two way communication process between the police and residents as members are encouraged to report information.”

Chief Inspector Dennis Evernden, Police Area Commander for West Oxfordshire said: “Engaging with local communities is a critical element of neighbourhood policing. The introduction of dedicated Neighbourhood Police Teams in West Oxfordshire as well as five Neighbourhood Action Groups has helped us tackle local priorities. We launched School Watch earlier in the year and re-launching County Watch will ensure people who live and work in rural communities are engaging with us and working together to reduce even further the low levels of crime and disorder in West Oxfordshire.”

All existing Country and Horse Watch members have been invited to the launch but anyone interested in attending should book their place by telephoning Danielle Hanton on 01993 861640.

Posted : 31/03/2008 15:57:37

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