A NEW Greenfield Neighbourhood Crime Watch group is encouraging the community to work together to help make the area a safer place for residents and businesses.
Lee Hudson set up Greenfield Neighbourhood Crime Watch on Facebook in November 2017 after a spate of car jackings in the village.
Now, a year later he is encouraging more people to join and use the group after another car jacking incident in Greenfield in August, along with a handful in other villages.
Lee told a meeting of the group at The Royal George: “In last 12 months, there were 400 reported crimes in Greenfield.
“That is down 23 percent compared to last year as of June so we’re going in the right direction.
“However, I’m concerned by the number of serious crimes in the area, including violent offences and a recent car jacking.
“We need to be more vigilant and have greater awareness in the community so we can alert each other to what is going on.
“We live in a small village and news gets around fast. Facebook is one great way of letting other local people know what’s going on.”
Lee’s group is officially registered with Neighbourhood Watch, and he and volunteers delivered leaflets to local homes encouraging locals to work together to deter criminals.
The leaflets say strong communities where people know and look out for their neighbours is an excellent route to crime prevention.
Lee added: “At the moment, this is for residents and businesses in Greenfield only. If we bring in too much we will lose impetus. But I hope other villages will follow suit.”
PC Lee Cullen, from Saddleworth’s policing team, is backing the group and called on residents to help protect themselves.
He said: “There have been some high profile cases here recently but in the scheme of things crime in Greenfield is low. In parts of Oldham, you can find 400 crimes a month.
“Mostly here it’s petty crime, vehicle theft, or drugs related incidents. These are not organised crime groups, not sophisticated or well-funded operations. But you can be resilient and help to protect yourselves”
He urged people to check they have locked their car and property doors or windows and not to leave leave sat navs, dash cams or valuables visible in cars, and install CCTV if possible.
He added drivers should keep an eye on the road behind them when driving home and look out for suspicious vehicles.
PC Cullen said: “Residents can be a great help to the police as the eyes and ears of the community.
“At Saddleworth in 2016 we had 12 police officers and PCSOs. Now we have seven.
“Focus has moved to child abuse and online crime, away from the bobby on the beat.
“But I do not want you to think you are own your own. If there is any incident and you need help, you well get cops.”
Find out more about the Greenfield Neighbourhood Crime Watch on Facebook.
Need to contact the police?
In an emergency dial 999 when a crime is being committed or has just been witnessed, there is a risk of injury, or a risk of serious damage to property.
In a non-emergency dial 101 to report a crime that has already happened or to give information about crime.
You can also keep up to date on their Facebook page or website: www.gmp.co.uk