THE head of an Eastbourne Neighbourhood Watch scheme is warning locals to be on the look-out for a fake website which tries to flog Neighbourhood Watch ‘co-ordinator packs’ to vigilant residents.
Philip Hearn, who chairs the scheme in Eastbourne, encouraged anyone who is looking to get involved locally should steer well clear of the bogus site, which advertises starter sets at £39.99.
He was quick to point out that joining Neighbourhood Watch is free and any website or caller asking you to pay for the privilege should be dismissed out of hand.
Eastbourne currently boasts almost 400 co-ordinators and the scheme takes in around 11,500 homes throughout the town.
Its members also regularly join forces with a local crime prevention group as well as Trading Standards to provide a network which can quickly warn people about the latest scams.
Speaking earlier this week, Mr Hearn said, “We work very closely with the Police and Trading Standards and have an alert system which feeds information to our co-ordinators in a matter of minutes if an important incident comes to light.
“This ranges from bogus callers to general nuisance and more serious matters which, with our partners, has led to improving crime reduction and a safer environment for the people of Eastbourne.
“The Crime Prevention Panel runs Quality Street meetings which we also attend to give help and advice to allow the public to get involved in helping to improve their area.
“It is perhaps because of the success of our schemes that others are trying to make money out of an entirely voluntary scheme.
“We are always looking for additional members and co-ordinators to start schemes and distribute our quarterly newsletters, within their given area, and establish links with other residents.
“If anyone would like to start a scheme you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get additional information online at www.ourwatch.org.uk
“But please remember Neighbourhood Watch is free and you will be doing your bit to help reduce crime in your area.”