MBE for making town safe

The chairman of Crawley Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) has been awarded an MBE.

John Wright, from Ifield, was honoured for improving the reputation and safety of Crawley.

The 61-year-old has chaired the NHW for more than ten years and is chairman of the Sussex NHW.

He said he was gob smacked when he received his official letter from the Cabinet Office to inform him of his honour.

He said: “I feel very humbled and privileged and surprised because I knew nothing about it.

“I could have cried when I read the letter. I got really choked.”

John will be officially awarded the honour by the Queen during a ceremony, called an investiture, at Buckingham Palace.

Derek Pratt, vice chairman for NHW and deputy chairman for the Sussex NHW nominated John for the award.

He said: “He has relentlessly and passionately delivered inspirational leadership, resourcefulness and compassion without fear or favour, often challenging old ways and thinking which have outlived their time.

“I am always struck by his never ending pursuit of trying to make our communities better and safer places, simply leading and encouraging people to do the right things for the right reasons. He has my very greatest respect.

“I am absolutely delighted that he has been recognised with this thoroughly well deserved honour.”

John has introduced Junior NHW in the primary schools in Crawley. This seeks to prevent children from becoming victims of crime and future causes of crime.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said: “He has had a visible impact on improving the reputation of Crawley as a community-minded and safe place to be.

“He has set up a system of area co-ordinators which has helped develop a two-way engagement between the police and local people.”

John, who is proprietor of a tyre business, has also assisted with the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic Torch relay.

He is also a member of the Crawley Emergency Planning Group and being elected a lifetime Honorary Member of the Crawley Rotary Club.