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Teen heads watch group

PUBLISHED: 15:58 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 23 August 2010

A 17-YEAR-OLD Neighbourhood Watch member is hoping to attract younger members to sign up as the organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary. The 223 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in north Kent are celebrating the 25th year of the organisation as part of N

A 17-YEAR-OLD Neighbourhood Watch member is hoping to attract younger members to sign up as the organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The 223 Neighbourhood Watch schemes in north Kent are celebrating the 25th year of the organisation as part of National Neighbourhood Watch and Home Week which runs until next Wednesday.

One of the organisation's youngest members, Isla King, took over running the Haven Close, Istead Rise, scheme from her father in January and is hoping to attract younger members.

She said: " I had a link with dad running the Watch but I'm hoping to increase the support and have busier meetings.

"People think it's only older people involved with Neighbourhood Watch but I care about where I live too and have pet hates; littering and vandalism. It's useful to the community and we can give phone numbers and put people in touch with the services they need. I enjoy it and believe there is still such a thing as community spirit."

Members are given UV pens to security mark their property and leaflets with information on how to make their homes more secure.

They can also find out about free services for the elderly, such as the Handy Van, which visits them to carry out minor work indoors if they have been a victim of burglary, or organise a free visit from Kent Fire and Rescue to check smoke alarms work, fit one if needed or simply advise on fire risk.

Minutes from meetings can also be e-mailed to your computer or texted to your phone.

Jill Mendham, NHW liaison for north Kent, said: "Neighbourhood Watch is such a valuable resource and is becoming more essential during the credit crunch when crime is expected to rise. It brings communities together, allows information to be shared quickly and effectively and makes people feel safer."

l To find out who your local neighbourhood team is, visit www.kent.police.uk and type in

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