Make Girvan safer with Neighbourhood watch

ON WATCH:  The public meeting in December at which the neighbourhood watch idea was born attracted more than 200 local residents, as well as politicians and police officers.
ON WATCH: The public meeting in December at which the neighbourhood watch idea was born attracted more than 200 local residents, as well as politicians and police officers.

THE SPATE of housebreakings that hit Girvan before Christmas could spur on a positive community legacy as residents are encouraged to begin a neighbourhood watch.

In December a public meeting organised by three Girvan ladies was attended by more than 200 locals, politicians, and police officers, and raised more than £240 for the victims of four burglaries carried out by local men Paul Barclay and Ross Nawarauckas – who were sentenced to nine months and 204 days in prison respectively on January 9.

At that meeting an interest was sparked among many attendees in forming a neighbourhood watch. But as yet Carrick police say the idea has remained just that.

“It was reassuring to see so many of the community gathering together for a common purpose and showing concern for what was happening in their local area, and I would like to keep that level of interest going in order to make Girvan a safer place,” Sergeant Kevin McKeown of Girvan Police Office told the Carrick Gazette.

“The meeting solved a problem for a period of time but what we need to do is solve it for longer and on a more permanent basis. If there is a problem we want to solve it via the best means.

“Anything that gives us some feeling of ownership to the residents on any problems that arise – anything that allows people to work with us rather than thinking we are working with different aims – must be a good thing.”

Gail Sloan, one of the organisers of the original public meeting, said a neighbourhood watch scheme was definitely one that Girvan residents would welcome – especially with the prospect of those found guilty of the town’s December housebreakings soon being released from jail.

“A lot of people were asking about it at the meeting but were not sure how to go about organising it, so it would be good to have it; I am certainly for it,” she said.

Anyone interested in being part of a neighbourhood watch scheme in Girvan should contact Sergeant Kevin McKeown at Kevin.McKeown@strathclyde.pnn.police.uk, or call Girvan Police Office on 01465 715314. Early guidance can be provided by Strathclyde Police community safety officers if desired.