Neighbours to guard empty Horsham homes

JPCT 160913 Neighbourhood watch volunteers. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 160913 Neighbourhood watch volunteers. Photo by Derek Martin

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Police-vetted Horsham residents will monitor homes when occupants are away on holiday in a new scheme to tackle a rise in burglary in the district.

From this month homeowners planning to go away are encouraged to contact Sussex Police which will provide crime prevention advice and offer to be put in touch with a local Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator.

The volunteer - whose background is security checked by the force - will work with neighbours to set up patrols and monitor the empty house on a daily basis.

They will check the home for criminal damage and ensure cars are parked on its drive as a deterrent.

Andrew Moffat, chairman of Horsham District Neighbourhood Watch, says the ‘effective’ scheme will be run by the unsung heroes of our community.

“There are two things we take for granted in life: health and security.

“As Neighbourhood Watch we do our little bit to make the community feel safer.”

Nearly ten per cent of house burglaries in the Horsham district took place when homeowners were away on holiday last year, say Horsham police.

The Neighbourhood Watch has since been working in conjunction with Sussex Police and the local Community Safety Partnership as a priority to come up with ideas to combat a rise in home break-ins last year.

Mr Moffat continued: “This initiative is provided to ensure that homeowners consider the security of their home before they go away and can have an increased level of confidence that whilst they are away both Sussex Police and the local Neighbourhood Watch are monitoring their home.”

Chief inspector Howard Hodges added: “This is an fantastic opportunity to reduce further the number of homes burgled in the Horsham district.”