Wisbech could have citizen’s patrols to “take back the community we love and to make town safer”

Cllr Steve Tierney

Cllr Steve Tierney - Credit: Archant

TORY councillor Steve Tierney is to meet police to see if citizen’s patrols can be set up in Wisbech “to take back the community we love and to make the town safer”.

Cllr Tierney, a Cambridgeshire county and Wisbech town councillor said: “The idea is best described as a little bit like a mobile version of Neighbourhood Watch.”

He said: “A citizen’s patrol is a police and community partnership which is about reclaiming the traditional values of good citizenship. It’s about being visible in your own community and providing reassurance to others. It helps to build bridges, increase understanding and respect within and between communities, and bring back confidence to our neighbourhoods.

“It is about engagement, not confrontation. It isn’t about policing or replacing police officers.”

Cllr Tierney said in other areas where they operated the members are trained, supported, police-checked and covered by relevant insurance policies.

“Other places in the country have similar issues to those which are common in Wisbech,” he said. “ In a time of tight budgets and growing fears it is a very positive and proactive way to take back the community we love and to make the town safer.

“Volunteer citizen patrollers would work in teams, often with some sort of uniform so that they can be identified.”

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Categorically it was not “some sort of vigilante scheme – but is about positive communication and visibility, providing structure and surety for the worried, the vulnerable – and most everybody else”

He said if enough people contact him he will get it under way and he would like to have “some names in the hat and be ready to roll” when he meets with police.

A police spokesman said they were “open minded if it reduces crime and makes people feel safe but it has to be self running and not a burden”.