Today sees the start of Neighbourhood Watch Week. The theme this year is 'Let's Stay Connected' - and there has never been a more important time to keep in touch with our friends, family and neighbours.
The uncertainty and restrictions brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic will have left many members of our community feeling lonely and isolated in their own homes. Now, more than ever, it is crucial we stay connected to our neighbours by making a phone call, sending a message on social media or simply saying hello over the fence. Little acts of kindness or simply checking in with isolated members of our community can go a long way, particularly in times of crisis.
In Wiltshire and Swindon, we have already seen a surge in neighbourliness as people look out for the vulnerable and have started talking to their neighbours more than ever - a silver lining to the cloud COVID-19 has cast over our daily lives. We want to continue this trend of kindness in our communities and ensure that we capitalise on the 'new normal' by not just being good neighbours now, but also in the future.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Wiltshire Neighbourhood Watch members across the county who have responded magnificently in support of their local communities and most vulnerable residents. Neighbourhood policing has also played a vital role during the pandemic in reassuring communities and being a friendly face that the public can trust.
We cannot underestimate the significance we all play in supporting the principles of community safety and looking out for one another. Particularly this week, but also as we move into the 'new normal'; let's stay connected, let's check in with our neighbours (at a distance of course!) and let's be kind.
For more information on 'Neighbourhood Watch Week - Let's Stay Connected', please visit https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/letsstayconnected .
Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner
Superintendent Phil Staynings, Wiltshire Police
Paul Sunners, Chair Wiltshire NHW Association