Sussex Police and the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Federation have reaffirmed their partnership and the role of volunteer crimefighters in the community.
Sussex NHW Federation chairman John Wright MBE met with Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith to agree a new Service Level Agreement (SLA) and to formally reaffirm the levels of service expected by all parties.
Each district NHW and Neighbourhood Policing Team across Sussex will now also be asked to sign these documents to establish their commitment.
Mr Wright, who lives in Crawley, said: “Neighbourhood Watch already enjoys an excellent working relationship with Sussex Police across much of the county, and we are committed to not only extending this to include the remaining areas, but also to improve the quality of our relationship everywhere.
“Neighbourhood Watch members are important eyes and ears in our local communities. They can readily spot unusual or suspicious activity and promptly report it to the police, so that appropriate action can quickly be taken to help keep our homes and streets safe.”
He continued: “With this new agreement all parties are re-confirming their intentions to continue to work closely together in friendly harmony and in a very effective and efficient modern way.
“Feedback from all areas has highlighted where improvements can be made, and we are determined that Neighbourhood Watch, the largest voluntary organisation on the UK, will continue to be a strong supporter of community and public safety.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The Sussex NHW Federation is an excellent example of how volunteering is playing an integral role in supporting the police to keep our local communities safe.
“I am pleased to sign these agreements as a mark of my commitment to encourage the development of volunteering throughout Sussex and to ensure that our volunteers are recognised and valued for the vital contribution they make.
“I’d like to thank the Sussex NHW Federation and its members for their dedication and to ask anyone with the time and drive to make a difference in their community to get involved in volunteering.”
ACC Robin Smith, said: “Since the first SLA was signed in 2012 the Sussex NHW Federation’s involvement across the county has influenced the reformation of a number of local District NHW schemes, seen NHW become more integrated in local problem solving and has noticeably improved the way in which Sussex Police and NHW work together.
“The resigning of our overall SLA and our signing of the new communications focused SLA, something all parties agreed would help focus the responsibilities of all involved, establishes agreed responsibilities for both organisations and further instils our dedication to this partnership.
“I’d like to thank NHW co-ordinators and members across the county; their vigilance, reporting of information and collaborative work with neighbourhood policing teams is incredibly important to the prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour.”