Local residents’ group in Horsforth formed to improve neighbourhood safety now almost 100-strong

By Sarah Smith

A residents’ group in Horsforth has now reached nearly 100 members after being set up a year ago.

The group was created as a result of a couple on West End Lane wanting to put up a massive extension in the backyard and creating places for about ten cars.

The people living on the street came together and created this group to preserve the neighbourhood.

Margaret Waterhouse, who lives on West End Lane, joined the group after being told about it by her neighbours John and Janet Hargreaves.

Janet who lives on West End Lane said: “This isn’t something that just makes us feel safe and welcome, but it also connects the neighbourhood as we make great friends.”

The group is now on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and has over 93 members. They have monthly meetings at the local Golf club.

One of the members is Jackie Shemilt, the local councillor and a police officer who gives updates on what has been happening around the area.

Last year, there were approximately 60 crimes recorded in Horsforth, most of them being violence and sex offences, but the number of burglaries and vehicle crime has been rising ever since. So far this year, the number of crimes overall declined to 46.

People in the area have also expressed concerns about burglary and vehicle crime in the area, saying this is getting more and more widespread and people do not know how to protect themselves.

Most people have electric gates, but people still manage to get past and break in.

Most crimes in West Yorkshire are related to violence and sex offences, with burglary in third place and vehicle crime coming in at seventh place.

The group which has been formed with a completely different purpose is now making changes. The amount of vehicle crime in their area has now fallen as people who notice anything or anyone suspicious immediately report it to the group, so they can be prepared for anything going wrong.

Margaret said: “It’s a nice area and a nice home, more people should know about this, so they could then create something similar to protect their neighbourhood.”

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