Citizen patrols move for Wisbech

A new idea to help make the streets of Wisbech feel safer is currently in the early planning stages by a group of local councillors and eager volunteers.

Citizen patrols, which have been successfully introduced in other areas of the country, could soon be seen on the streets of Wisbech if enough people are interested in becoming involved and they get police backing.

Among those leading the project is town and county councillor Steve Tierney, who was quick to emphasise the patrols will not be a replacement for proper policing and they will absolutely not be vigilante.

He said the idea has been bouncing around on the Shape Place website for sometime and appears to have support, but it needs police backing and also enough people prepared to take part in patrols.

The idea would be for patrol members to wear uniform or some other way of identifying them. Members would have to be police checked and insurance would have to be in place.

“There is a perception that Wisbech is not always a safe place, but let’s not blow it out of proportion. However, if having visible patrols out on the streets gives people peace of mind and makes them feel safe then that is not a bad thing. Patrols would not take over from police, they would simply be there to give reassurance and act as the eyes and ears for the police. If they see something then they can report it to the police.

“Hopefully the idea of people patrolling the streets will make criminals think again. It is still in the early stages. I like to think it is like a mobile version of Neighbourhood Watch, but we don’t want to step on other organisation’s toes. We would love to work with Neighbourhood Watch and people like that.,” said Mr Tierney.

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