Police scale back Streetwatch support

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THE national Streetwatch organisation, which was founded in East Hampshire, may have reached the end of the road as money and volunteers run out.

Streetwatch sees groups of residents walk the streets in their area to look out for problems. They either report them to police or if they are not criminal offences try to organise ways of addressing it themselves.

It was launched in 2007 by Hampshire Police Chief Inspector Phil Kedge. Groups were formed in Petersfield and then it went national, but now it appears police support is being scaled back for the project.

At a meeting of the East Petersfield Community Group and Streetwatch, chairman Steve Dewey said: ‘Streetwatch has hit a crossroads in that it needs funding in order to progress.

‘All activity has had to be placed on hold, especially since the national co-ordinator stood down and Phil Kedge has been asked to step back.

‘It could be that without funding the future of Streetwatch beyond 12 months is unlikely. As a result I have looked at how Streetwatch is going in other parts of Petersfield.

‘In Cranford Road volunteers are down, with members not keen to cover the town, just their immediate area. But we are looking at options to convince the right people continuing Streetwatch is the right thing to do.

‘But if it folds we have talked about forming a similar group to carry on, but for Petersfield only.’

Streetwatch is the only fully regulated national model for citizen street patrols in the UK.