Whats Appening? Villages looking to fight back against the criminals

TWO more Saddleworth villagers are looking towards increased community engagement to help reduce crime.

Paul, Inspector Karen Taylor, and Lee Hudson

Lee Hudson, one of the driving forces behind the Greenfield Neighbourhood Crimewatch group, has given presentations to residents in Dobcross and Denshaw.

Mr Hudson launched the Greenfield group on Facebook in November 2017 in response to a number of high-profile incidents, including car jackings.

Now a network of street co-ordinators, linked by WhatsApp and covering more than half of the village’s streets, share advice and information with neighbours.

Encouraging results have prompted residents in Denshaw and Dobcross to consider adopting a similar model.

In the latest edition of Dobcross Diary, John Warham confirmed Mr Hudson had been to talk to members of Dobcross Village Community.

He said: “The scale of the project is impressive with close to 1000 participants in Greenfield. Evidence points to it being successful in reducing crime.

“The DVC would like to gauge interest in bringing a similar scheme to Dobcross.

“It would need three or four technically aware people to mastermind the scheme and a reasonable number of residents to participate (just as street coordinators) for it to work.

“Subject to there being sufficient interest, we intend to hold a village meeting after the summer at which Lee would explain what has been achieved in Greenfield and how it has been done.”

Anyone interested is asked to email meeting@dobx.life or sign a list posted at Dobcross Village Shop.

About 60 people attended the Denshaw meeting to listen to Mr Hudson and fellow Greenfield co-ordinator Catherine Knowles.

Also present were Inspector Karen Taylor of GMP Oldham District plus Saddleworth North ward councillors Garth Harkness and George Hulme.

It follows a spate of crimes in the first three months of 2019 while in May a further three cars were reportedly stolen.

“I wanted to come and see what the feel of the community was before I officially got my handover,” said Inspector Taylor, who is also responsible for crime fighting in Shaw, Crompton and Royton.

“I will be basing myself here (in Saddleworth) at least once a week to see what is going on.

“You are dead lucky up here so with the likes of (PCs) Lee Cullen, Mark Clough and (Sgt) Neil Barker who love this area.

“And they are based in Saddleworth. Every other area in Oldham, we are all centralised into Oldham police station.

“I am not going to promise you the earth because I can’t magic up loads of cops. But what I can so is work with these staff.”

She also praised the work of the Greenfield group, saying: “It is one of the best ones we have got and we get more intelligence than Greenfield than probably any of the other areas.”

Meeting organisers Paul Gilbert confirmed a WhatsApp group had been established in addition to Denshaw dedicated Facebook groups (In and Around Denshaw and Denshaw Village) to help people raise awareness of issues.

Mr Hudson said his hope was every Saddleworth village could be linked through Whats App groups.

“It is working because we see it with the statistics that numbers have fallen.”

The need for community vigilance remains though with a reported house burglary in Denshaw and several cycle thefts in and around the Tesco store site on Chew Valley Road since the meeting.

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