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Interest grows in watch scheme plan for town

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Interest grows in watch scheme plan for town

Resident Mark Sindall last month questioned whether such an organisation could be formed, after a number of houses in the town were hit — including his own.
Heralding the involvement of the Annandale and Eskdale’s Safe and Healthy Action Partnership which sits within public health, Mr Sindall this week said: “I think SHAP are looking at trying to get an interest group together with key partners to take the next step.
“And a development worker could potentially be assigned to put together interested parties from within the community, which could include council, police and others to look at what that programme could look like.”
SHAP chairwoman Elaine Lamont confirms that the organisation is looking to play a role.
She said: “Even if it was initially about crime, it might have the potential to develop into people looking out for each other in other ways, too.”
She added: “I’ve said I’d try to bring Mark — being the member of the community who raised it — together with some different relevant organisations and discuss what that might look like . . . could we maybe test it and try it out?”
And Elaine says her preferred approach would be to look at the different neighbourhood watch schemes which already exist in the country and see if there is a model which might suit Annan.
Elaine notes that about 120 organisations, including the council and police, are already involved in SHAP.
And confirming police backing, community constable PC Iain Leggett said: “I’ve spoken to my sergeant, and we’re willing to be there and help.”