Vecinos Cooperando works with the local authorities. :: SUR
A spate of robberies reported in SUR in English over the last few weeks has left some residents in inland areas worried about the security of their homes. Now a group of victims and other residents are planning to meet to discuss ways of sharing information about suspicious activity around their homes and to look at forming an official neighbourhood watch type of organisation.
The idea of sharing information about burglaries is not new to inland Facebook users as there is already an online Neighbourhood Watch group for the Coín and Alhaurín el Grande areas. Now Cártama resident Stuart Hilton hopes that an offer of help from an officially recognised neighbourhood watch scheme in Alicante could help improve the safety of residents in the area.
“Geoff Salter, the founder of ‘Vecinos Cooperando’ in the town of Hondón de los Frailes, has offered us his help and has even offered to travel down to Malaga to meet with residents here. ‘Vecinos Cooperando’ is a neighbourhood watch group that works with the local authorities in Valencia. We all know that the Guardia Civil and police forces are really stretched and they have a tough job to do but if we can just share information among ourselves, it might help identify if certain properties are being targeted. In some cases the same houses have been robbed three times, so anything we can do together is going to help.”
With inland Facebook users reporting nine separate house burglaries in less than a week on group pages for the Alhaurín and Coín areas, Stuart asked a question on one of the internet forums about whether other residents would be interested in setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme.
“My original post on Facebook was solely to gauge the numbers of people from the Cártama, Coín and Alhaurín areas who would be interested in forming their own groups under the umbrella of ‘Vecinos Cooperando’. Within a day I had 23 people interested in sitting down together to see what we could do! I was amazed. Some people are obviously very upset about the current spate of thefts but those who have been burgled say they feel their movements must have been watched because the break-ins seem to mainly happen at night when people are out for the evening. The last thing we want is vigilante style groups looking for robbers but if we could all just do what we did years ago, talk to our neighbours and get to know their cars and so on, we could at least be a bit more aware of anyone acting suspiciously,” says Stuart.
Stuart hopes a meeting with Vecinos Cooperando could be arranged in the second half of February.
More information : Contact Stuart Hilton via Facebook or see the information on the Facebook page “What’s on Alhaurin or surrounding areas”.