A village near Rugby has become the latest rural community to join a crime prevention initiative funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe. Villagers in Willoughby were presented with signs and property marking kit this week by the Commissioner to help showcase their status as a ‘Supported Village’.
The scheme is part of the Warwickshire Rural Crime Project and aims to help villages with proactive crime prevention, providing a sustainable scheme which can then be maintained by the community. Over the past few months, parish councillors and the village’s Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator have been working with the police Safer Neighbourhood Team and North Warwickshire’s Rural Crime Co-ordinator Carol Cotterill to provide security advice across the whole village.
Several property marking days have been held where villagers could bring along equipment and valuables, while community locations such as the church, village hall and allotments have all also been proactively targeted with crime prevention measures. Signage is provided to all properties where security marking has taken place.
Additional ‘thieves beware’ signs advertising that the village has been security marked have also been put up this week on the entrances to Willoughby, while the village has been presented with additional crime prevention toolbox to ensure that new residents can continue to benefit, with the Parish Council also committing to replenish the kit once it has been exhausted.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I’m delighted to be able to present Willoughby with its crime prevention toolbox and the prominent new road signs to welcome them to the Supported Villages Scheme.
“Warwickshire is quite a rural county and I have put the prevention and detection of rural crime very high on the agenda in my Police and Crime Plan. Local communities are key to this and I try my very best to engage with a many parish councils, district and borough councillors and Neighbourhood Watch groups to be able to help us with our fight against rural crime.”
Rachel Settle, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Willoughby added: “With the kit that we have it means that I can go now to people’s houses and mark their property for them. If anyone buys something new, I can go round there and get it marked and they don’t then have to wait until we have another event. I think it will benefit the village very much and the parish council will fund the re-fill of the box, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Willoughby becomes the second village in the Rugby district to join the Supported Villages Scheme after Binley Woods, with three others in North Warwickshire also protected. A further three villages have almost completed their security marking, including Wolvey.
For more information about tackling rural crime, visit the Warwickshire Rural Watch website at: www.warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk.