How the people of Crawley can get involved with Neighbourhood Watch
Long-standing Crawley resident Derek Pratt of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch has discussed how people can get involved with the organisation.
The delayed ceremony at Windsor Castle saw Mr Pratt receive an MBE for his work with Neighbourhood Watch from Prince William. Mr Pratt was even lucky enough to stand one place in front of Marcus Rashford MBE.
Neighbourhood Watch is a grass root charitable organisation that supports individuals and groups to create safer, stronger and active communities.
Mr Pratt works in property investment and is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
He said he can now choose how he spends his work day, which allows him to devote his time to his roles as Deputy Chair and Secretary of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation.
Alongside this, Mr Pratt is also the chair of Sussex Community Search Team (Team leader), Police service volunteer with Sussex Police and administrator of the Neighbourhood Alert System.
Sussex Community Search Team is run by around 400 volunteers and was set up to help local police services to find missing people. Because of the pandemic, the organisation redirected its efforts to helping run Covid vaccination centres around the Sussex area.
In discussion with Mr Pratt, he explains the role of the Neighbourhood Watch role in Crawley and how people can join a local group near them:
“Neighbourhood watch is here to warn people and educate those who are vulnerable
“There are 3,000 Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and 27,000 people involved with the organisation
“It’s hard to get statistics on crime prevention rates.
“People are turning to social media to report crimes, which Neighbourhood Watch wants to rethink how it works
“Neighbourhood Alert software is a piece of software that is shared by Sussex police and Neighbourhood Watch. 30 different police forces use it.
“It’s a communication database that is used to send out messages.
“Yellow stickers and street signs gives a message to the bad guys that it might not be a good place to be.”