Praise for police and public at Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Awards

Police Community Support Officers and members of the public from Epsom and Ewell, Elmbridge, Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead have been recognised at the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Awards.

Held on June 7 at Surrey Police Headquarters in Guildford, the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association Chairman Rodney Amor welcomed winners during the second annual presentation of awards to those working in and with Surrey Neighbourhood Watch.

Friends and families attended as well as police colleagues. Both the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley and his Deputy Jeff Harris also gave their support to the event.

Rodney Amor thanked those who were receiving an award for their work in Neighbourhood Watch and mentioned that the Watch greatly benefited from their involvement.

Chief Constable Lynne Owens made the presentations and emphasised the value of the Neighbourhood Watch and its close link with police in promoting safety in the community

Details of award winners are listed below:

Neighbourhood Watch Member making the most valuable contribution to the development of Neighbourhood Watch in their area – Willo Heesom

Willo is the coordinator for the Norwood Hill Neighbourhood Watch which she has run for the last five years. Norwood Hill is a watch on the south of the Mole Valley and although it is in a rural area it looks out to Gatwick Airport a couple of miles away. Willo runs her watch through timely liaison between members and police, following up incidents and concerns in the immediate area. The watch by her actions enjoys a positive and beneficial relationship with the police officers of Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead. She is taken as a role model for watches operating in such areas and is a keen supporter of Country Watch.

She has been recommended not only by her members but from other watches that are adjacent to her ‘patch’ who welcome her leadership, organisation and coordination. It is a large geographic area that is influenced by Willo and she has responded to the concerns of Sussex Police and the special issues that arise from the presence of Gatwick Airport.

Willo readily points out that the success of her watch could not be achieved without the ready cooperation with the Police. Local officers greatly value her time, energy and willingness to work with them in the true tradition of Neighbourhood Watch. Her energy in completing her role encourages residents to be more vigilant and has led to success in thwarting crime.

Despite giving a large amount of time to watch affairs, Willo is a keen potter and sells some of her wares at local craft fairs.

Police Community Support Officer making the most valuable contribution to the development of Neighbourhood Watch in their area – PCSO Jo Kapusta

PCSO Jo Kapusta is the PCSO for East Molesey and was nominated by Elaine Burtenshaw the Crime Reduction Adviser for Elmbridge Police with the full support of leading members of Neighbourhood Watch in that area.

In her work over the last few years, Jo has brought together many of the local coordinators to improve the functioning of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) in her area. Jo has taken a leading role in recruiting new coordinators in roads where there was no Neighbourhood Watch Organisation.

A key facet of Jo’s work is to get to know who is in NHW and to improve the level of communication with the community through e mail, keeping the community briefed on issues so that useful information can be passed on to neighbours who are not on that system . Jo is very ‘hands on’ and cares for her community. On patrol and with a particular regard to the security of houses and cars, she passes on advice notes when she finds that homes and cars are not secure.

All her energy and activity has paid off with an improved response to tackling crime at a time of particularly high criminal activity over the approach to Christmas and New Year. Jo is a very good PCSO but the award is made because she has contributed greatly to Neighbourhood Watch by increasing her effectiveness in the community by galvanising and improving the watches in her area.

Jo is a very cheerful and approachable individual. She is passionate about her work and keen to engage with the community. Her enthusiasm for Neighbourhood Watch is infectious

Award for a Special Contribution to Neighbourhood Watch – Neighbourhood Watch Team from Epsom and Ewell PCSOs Graham Freeman/Christopher Wright /NHW member Benny De’Souza

In March 2012 PC Daniel Doherty of the Neighbourhood Team from Epsom and Ewell attended a Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Meeting at Surrey Police Headquarters and realising the lack of Neighbourhood Watch cover in Epsom and Ewell, decided that a new initiative was required. Over the next six months PC Doherty, PCSO Graham Freeman and PCSO Christopher Wright worked tirelessly promoting Neighbourhood Watch and enrolled every street and church in Stoneleigh, Auriol and Cuddington wards.

On the launch of the scheme a local resident Benny De’Souza gave a presentation on a proposed Blog he had designed in consultation with the team. It has now become the Epsom and Ewell Neighbourhood Watch Blog Site. Benny, in the last few months, has worked with the police team to upgrade the blog into an interactive website.

It is intended that this strong start will be expanded across the whole of the borough. This initiative has captured the interest and enthusiasm of the Epsom and Ewell community.

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