Tuesday, 10th December, 2013
Any home is a potential target for burglars; some are more appealing than others and some offer themselves up with a bow that begs to be opened.
Colourful neighbourhood watch stickers that look like tax discs are being rolled out across Richmond.
The stickers are the result of a team project between Richmond's safer neighbourhoods and neighbourhood watch members which aims to deter burglars.
New disks with a different colour will be issued every two years to denote their validity.
Each brightly-coloured window transfer will also contain area-specific information such as a list of watch meetings and emergency phone numbers, so it is clear to would-be thieves the houses displaying them are part of an active neighbourhood scheme.
Bunny Farnell-Watson, 60, of Lancaster Park, who has been a key member of the Richmond Hill watch for 18 years, said she thought they would be a good way to send thieves packing.
She said: "My husband is a designer and the inspiration behind the stickers – he thought it would be a much more startling way for people to know which houses were part of active neighbourhood watches."
Mrs Farnell-Watson added she thought it was time for the change, as the old labels started to look tired and worn.
She said: "We felt there was a real need not only to address this problem, but also to use it as a way of communicating to potential thieves and to the community that there is a specific and current neighbourhood watch scheme operating in the area.
"So we came up with the idea of rejuvenating the window stickers."
Inspector Peter Hood, who was also working on the project, said the police were approached by the neighbourhood watches as they wanted to increase the coverage and visibility of their efforts on a street level.
He said: "We welcome the idea of adopting borough-specific window stickers.
"It will give the valuable work this group has been doing even greater presence and profile.
"It lets people know other people are actively watching."
The 2010-11 sticker is being distributed to all households in Richmond which are part of neighbourhood watch schemes.
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