Neighbourhood Watch logo Thursday, 17th April, 2014
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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.

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'There are too many negative attitudes towards the Neighbourhood Watch scheme' says volunteer

A Neighbourhood Watch volunteer is angry that there are too many “negative attitudes” towards the scheme.

Sylvia Hodgkinson, of Eldon Avenue, Borehamwood, believes many residents do not realise how difficult being a volunteer can be and is calling on more people to join.

The scheme sees volunteers assigned to a different patch, reporting any suspicious activities they see to the police.

Ms Hodgkinson, who began volunteering in Eldon Avenue ten years ago, said: "I think the work the volunteers do is really inspiring, but many people have a bad perception of it - that is really sad. 

"I have spoken to some in the past who take the approach that this is a job that should be done by the police and so being a part of this scheme is pointless.

"But what they do not realise, is that people who actually live and socialise in the area see what is happening on a daily basis – we are the eyes and ears of the community.

"And by keeping a watchful eye on the area you cover, you can tell the police when you spot something suspicious, who can deal with it before it turns into a bigger problem.

"We help keep crime levels low."

Five years ago, Ms Hodgkinson, who is unemployed, was handed a good neighbour award at a Neighbourhood Watch conference.

She first got involved in the scheme when a group of children were causing anti-social behaviour in her street.

"I was determined to do something about this, not only for myself, but for the benefit of my neighbours too.

"Working with other volunteers really helped solve the problem, so I decided to stick around and carry on.

"I really enjoy being a part of the scheme, but there are currently too many negative attitudes towards it. I hope people start realising how much it benefits the community."

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