A crime prevention charity that aims to create peace of mind and encourage neighbourliness has been relaunched.
After nearly closing down for good, Neighbourhood Watch Isle of Man has a new lease of life and is actively recruiting new members.
‘Some people think that it’s all about twitching curtains, which of course is totally wrong,’ according to Isle of Man branch vice chairperson Amy Maguire. ‘It’s sad that it has these connotations with people because it’s as much about neighbourliness as it is about crime prevention.’
There are around 50 schemes operating island-wide which range from small groups of five or six houses to entire estates.
But the struggle to gain new members led to suggestions that the charity should shut down earlier this year, even at the height of an unprecedented spate of burglaries.
Mrs Maguire said: ‘I think people didn’t see the need for it and it was becoming difficult to get anyone involved – even in February ths year, believe it or not, there was talk of closing it down!’
With the support of Ellan Vannin Fuels, Neighbourhood Watch Isle of Man have produced a new advice leaflet tailored for Manx residents.
As time passes since the burglaries, Mrs Maguire warned against residents falling back into old habits.
‘It’s easy to fall back into a laissez faire attitude,’ she said. ‘I think people are quite trusting here. That isn’t a bad thing – that atmosphere is one of the best things about this place.
‘But I come from London, where I’ve been burgled. I have a much more security-minded approach. I always make sure I lock all my doors.’
She added: ‘We’d like to make people a little more savvy when it comes to looking after their belongings, locking their car and securing any valuables left in gardens.
‘It’s also an opportunity for people to get to know their neighbours. We’ve found that people are much more friendly and engaged with each other when they’re part of a scheme.’
For more information or to request a leaflet, email firstname.lastname@example.org