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New online tool to aid Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Lichfield

Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Lichfield are getting a new web-based communication system.

Online Watch Link (OWL) will be used by members of 4,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes across the county and can now receive messages from the force about criminal activity online.

OWL has been developed by a software provider working with Hertfordshire Constabulary and replaces the old WatchOut system which issued alerts to Watches from the police.

OWL is being launched across the region with a series of events across the county.

The online system is hoped to appeal to a whole new generation of Neighbourhood watch members. The high tech, highly convenient access is aimed at encouraging families to participate in community-focused activity that will benefit their neighbourhoods.

Staffordshire Police lead on Neighbourhood Watch, Chief Inspector Phil Fortun said:

“The new OWL system has given us an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about Neighbourhood Watch. We’re hoping that the convenience of the web-based system will attract some younger people and some families to get involved.”

As well as email, phone fax and text messages, Watch members can log on to a website where they can see information about crime-busting success stories around the area and crime prevention advice. Watch members can now receive their messages by email which means they can retrieve them from any computer.

Chief Inspector Fortun added:

“Neighbourhood Watch is very much about two-way communication between Watch scheme members and the police. OWL is a more convenient way of managing the flow of information to and from Neighbourhood Watch schemes. OWL will allow that communication to become easier to manage and achieve.”

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