Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for policing and crime, Baroness Beverley Hughes, attended a special meeting with committee members from Ashton’s Hartshead Home Watch to discuss how police and residents could work together better to reduce crime in the area.
The meeting, convened by local MP Angela Rayner, took place in January at Baroness Hughes’ offices in central Manchester. The agenda included how the relationship and information sharing between the homewatch group and the local policing team could be improved, a briefing on the new shift pattern for local bobbies, and a pledge from Baroness Hughes to lobby Tameside Council for the installation of CCTV cameras on the estate.
Hartshead homewatch was established in 2012 in response to a worrying rise in burglaries on the estate at the time. It covers 1200 homes, has 950 members and 35 co-ordinators. A committee of eleven local residents oversee the running of the group which has won awards for its crime reduction activities.
Homewatch committee chair, Chris Armitage said, “Sometimes to get things done you have to go straight to the top and you can’t get much higher up the policing food chain in Greater Manchester than Baroness Hughes. I am grateful to Angela Rayner for convening this meeting. As a result we have now re-established a clear point of contact with the local policing team and received support at the highest level for our plans to install CCTV on the estate.”
Ashton MP Angela Rayner, who went along to the meeting said, “I am proud that there is such an active and successful homewatch group in my constituency. The group has done some fantastic work in reducing crime, securing arrests and raising awareness of crime and how to prevent it, particularly among young people by working with schools. Hartshead homewatch can be a model for other residents looking to establish homewatch groups.”