Wisbech Citizens’ Patrol says it has backing of ‘dozens of volunteers and hundreds of notes of support and encouragement’

Wisbech Citizens' Patrol Facebook page

Wisbech Citizens' Patrol Facebook page - Credit: Archant

They missed their deadline of March but the newly formed Wisbech Citizens Patrol says it hopes to be up and running this month. “We expect the insurance to be finalised next week,” says the latest posting on their Facebook page.

“Our charter and risk assessment will then be sent to the police and Fenland District Council. If all goes well then we should be looking at a first patrol in about two weeks time.”

The newly formed citizens’ patrol held its inaugural public meeting for volunteers at the Angel Inn in Alexandra Road, Wisbech, at the end of February.

The group has also bought 20 Hi Vis personalised jackets which arrived at the beginning of March.

The group believes it has “almost done everything now. We’ve had the meeting with the police and council, who are supportive.

“We’ve got all the equipment. Just waiting on insurance and final agreement with police and council - and patrols can commence.”

The group says it will “probably” use a similar set of guidelines to use being used by a street watch observers group in Northamptonshire.

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Organiser Councillor Steve Tierney says the jackets are purple “with the words ‘Wisbech Citizens’ Patrol’ on the front and back.

“I went with purple because it’s a little different and I’d like people to recognise what the patrol is and feel safer. Orange is like a workman and yellow is everywhere, but purple is a little different.

“I also ordered 10 personal alarms, not because I expect to ever need them - the patrols will be entirely friendly, non-confrontational and supportive - but just to be safe in case somebody split briefly from the group and in that rare event something happened.”

He said he has also ordered LED high power torches, shoulder bags to carry bottles of water and a pair of walkie talkies with a range of 5km “in case we have two patrols at some point and want to communicate.”

The councillor said he has also ordered two body cameras.

“We have deliberately not rushed into anything in order that we can be sure to have taken all reasonable precautions and steps – which is what I said would happen from the outset,” he said.

He said he had received backing from “dozens of volunteers and hundreds of notes of support and encouragement.”

Its Facebook page has received 72 ‘likes’.