Young crimebusters get to final of awards

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Crawley’s Junior Neighbourhood Watch was chosen as a finalist at a national awards ceremony.

Crawley Neighbourhood Watch’s scheme, which teaches school students how to be law abiding citizens, was chosen as runner up in the ‘Inspiring Youth’ category of the national Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network Awards on June 18.

The awards were presented by Minister for Crime and Prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour Jeremy Browne MP at the House of Commons.

John Wright MBE, chairman of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation and Crawley Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in these prestigious awards, and it is a great reflection upon Crawley that Junior Neighbourhood Watch was selected as a finalist out of well over 100 nominees.

“I am especially grateful to those volunteers who have given up their time to take part in Junior Neighbourhood Watch, and who have done so much to make this brilliant project such a fantastic success.”

Crawley Neighbourhood Watch partnered with Crawley Police to create the Junior Neighbourhood Watch in 2010.

The five week voluntary initiative is delivered to 10-11 year old children.

The after school workshops aim to prevent the children from getting involved in crime and teach them practical skills to help tackle crime.

The workshops also help them develop personal safety and help with investigations by building on their observation skills.

John Wright added: “Since 2002, when I became chair of Crawley Neighbourhood Watch, domestic burglary in Crawley has been reduced by 50 per cent, and since 2005 overall crime has been reduced by 40 per cent.

“I am determined that with Junior Neighbourhood Watch we will continue to help to play our part to keep crime to a minimum and make Crawley a safe place to live.”