As the year draws to a close Neighbourhood Watch can look back on an eventful and successful year, with new branches starting up, new initiatives with the Policia Local and Guardia Civil, the launch of the property marking scheme and a new sponsor.

Several new branches have opened in the Valencia and Almeria provinces with other enquiries from as far away as Malaga.  We now have over 1,300 NHW coordinators working for their neighbours.

The new heads of the Guardia Civil in Vega Baga and Almeria requested information on NHW and were so impressed that we now have specific Guardia officers appointed to liaise with NHW coordinators.  A recent example of this new cooperation was the Guardia request for assistance in publicising the details of a driver wanted in a fatal hit and run incident in Torrevieja, within a few days of our publicity the man gave himself up.  During 2010 we hope to expand and improve upon this cooperation.  In Torrevieja the Policia Local have launched a new initiative with NHW to clamp down on vandalism and petty crime and have also appointed specific officers to officers to liaise with NHW.

With the help of a magnificent donation from our new sponsors, Moneycorp, we have been able to launch the UV property-marking scheme.  The scheme is similar to that in the UK, but instead of an individual’s postcode being used it is their NIE/DNI number that is inscribed on items of value using a UV marking pen. Guardia Civil and Policia Local stations have been issued with UV lamps to enable them to check for NIE/DNI numbers on any stolen property they recover.  In San Pedro de las Salinas where a new branch has recently been formed, the council have adopted the UV marking scheme as their own.  NHW not only helps to reduce crime in an area but can also help to create a sense of community togetherness, remember we “Watch our Neighbourhood NOT our Neighbours”.

If you live in an area with NHW but it is not active in your street or block of flats then please consider becoming a coordinator, being a coordinator does not involve a great deal of time or effort, but you can have a significant affect on local security.  If NHW is not present in your area then why not get together with other residents to form a new branch, it may be worthwhile contacting your local Neighbours or Community Association to ask for volunteers.  Members of the NHW managing committee are always available to speak to groups to explain what is involved in starting up and running a branch and more information can be obtained from the Membership Secretary Geoff Salter on 966669142 or viewed on our website at www.nhwinspain.com

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