If you are looking for a New Year’s resolution, how about making a pledge to play your part in making your community a safer place?
After being vibrant more than a decade ago, the neighbourhood watch scheme has been fairly inactive in recent years – but all that is changing.
Efforts to get more groups established in the town are paying off with more than 30 watches now up and running.
As well as bringing people living near to each other closer together, they are helping local police officers to bring criminals to justice.
PC Rob Brigham, communities beat manager in Bridlington, said a number of drugs raids carried out in the town centre recently were as a result of information supplied to his team from the public – and neighbourhood watch groups provide a great link between residents and officers.
He said: “There are problems in Bridlington, not unlike any other town or city. There are drug problems and the replated crimes that goes with it.
“However, we have executed five warrants since mid-October, seizing stolen goods, thousands of pounds worth of drugs, weapons, stolen
motor vehicles and significant amounts of money.
“These warrants take a lot of planning, but we have got more lined up.
“They have all come about because the public is giving us information by calling 101, Crimestoppers or through neighbourhood watch groups.”
Trying to encourage residents to set up a group in their area is Cec Lindley, who has formed a charity called Bridlington Neighbourhood Watch Group.
It will be holding public meetings every month and Cec admits she would like ‘ a watch on every street’.
She said: “I went to a meeting and realised that neighbourhood watch in Bridlington had dissipated. I have got a charity together and the beginnings of a new set of people.
“We want regular, monthly meetings for the public to come to and tell us what needs to be done so we can make sure it is done properly to make Bridlington a safer place. I love Bridlington, I have lived here more than 20 years and four generations of us are here now.”
A key area to work on next is around Windsor Crescent.
A public meeting was held at the former boxing club on Thorpe Street last month and a handful of visitors attended and took away ideas on what to do next.
There will also be a meeting in the residents lounge at Chantry Court on January 17, from 1pm to 3pm, for people living in Lawson Road and
The new monthly meeting for the Bridlington Neighbourhood Watch Group will be held on January 21, from 1pm to 3pm, at the Victoria Sailors Club in Cliff Street.
The resurgence in neighbourhood watch in Bridlington has pleased Maureen Yates, community and crime reduction resilience officer at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Her role was created in 2014 and the main aim is to increase the number of watches across the East Riding and support the groups already established.
She said that increasing the number of watches in Bridlington could be a ‘game changer’, if the community buy into it and can be convinced it is a good idea.
Ideally, new watches should just cover one street and take in less than 50 houses. But they can use social media groups or text messages to pass on crime prevention messages and worrying incidents to neighbours.
PC Brigham added: “Neighbourhood watch can make a massive difference.
“We are already seeing a difference in tackling anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
“We do have a problem with small groups and individuals, often aged 12 to 15, bothering businesses and causing a nuisance for security staff, annoying customers and loitering.”
Police sent a specialist team into Bridlington one morning in December to try to send a strong message to the people causing problems and there are plans for another operation in the New Year, working with businesses and amusement arcades around Promenade.