Ruffley takes Needham Market Neighbourhood Watch issue to the House Of Commons

Wednesday, 16 June, 2004

Having already written to the Home Secretary to express his anger, David Ruffley MP has now signed EDM 1335 highlighting the threat to the future of the National Neighbourhood Watch Association. A Home Office U-turn spells disaster for the local Needham Market branch of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme, which would be a real blow for crime fighting in the area.

The Home Office has effectively banned the National Neighbourhood Watch Association, an umbrella association of all Neighbourhood Watch groups, from using the Neighbourhood Watch logo in commercial sponsorship. This means that National Neighbourhood Watch may have to close as early as July 2004.

Mr Ruffley said:

'This shameful decision by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett threatens the whole existence of the much valued and respected Neighbourhood Watch Association. I have written to the Home Secretary on behalf of Mr John Stainton, the Chair of the Needham Market Association, to express my anger about the decision and will also now be raising the matter in the House of Commons. It is quite wrong of the Minster to go back on his earlier promise. We here talk from the Government about local policing and local communities but in terms of action they do nothing to support those groups and people striving to make our neighbourhoods safer.'