No interest in Girvan neighbourhood watch

ON WATCH: Carrick's Acting Inspector Derek McMurdo said local officers are keen to see a neighbourhood watch scheme underway.
ON WATCH: Carrick's Acting Inspector Derek McMurdo said local officers are keen to see a neighbourhood watch scheme underway.

Keeping Girvan safe was a hot topic in the town before Christmas, when hundreds of concerned residents turned out for a public meeting to combat housebreakings.

But since the local men res­ponsible for the burglary of four Girvan homes were imprisoned, interest seems once again to have died down.

Three weeks ago the Carrick Gazette published an appeal for residents interested in setting up a neighbourhood watch on their street – a bid to keep momentum for a safer Girvan going following December’s meeting.

But as yet Girvan police officers say they have had so little interest even one Neighbourhood Watch scheme seems unfeasible.

Acting Inspector for Carrick Derek McMurdo said local police are keen to get Neighbourhood Watches set up to boost communication between residents and the auth­orities.

“The expectation is that the police know every­thing that is going on, and in reality we don’t. We know most of what is going on and the more serious things but if nobody tells us anything we can’t help to fix it.

“The lack of response is a shame when you look at the number of folk that turned out for the meeting. There were around 300 people there but since then there’s been a degree of apathy, and it is in the community’s interest for the betterment of the general area.”

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.

In the meantime preparations for a ‘Keeping Girvan Safe’ event, following the success of Ballantrae’s effort in September, are underway between Girvan Community Council, the Carrick Crime Prevention Panel, and local police and fire services. It is hoped an event can be held in April.

According to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, neighbourhood watch schemes can bring a number of benefits to a local community.

They bring people together and help develop community spirit; are a visible sign that residents care about the area in which they live and the other people who live there; can help to prevent crime; aid police and other agencies in detecting crime through clear communication and swift reporting; inform people on how to keep themselves and others safe; and help reassure residents and reduce fear of crime.