the place to be
Friday May 14th 2021

Neighbourhood Watch


Though I know it will not so far have been a happy new year for some of you, I do hope it will get better for everyone.  Lockdown 3 was a blow and by the time you read this it is probably not over but I’m aware of how kind many people have been to those nearby needing help and companionship.  That’s the core of Neighbourhood Watch and Bletchingley has stepped up to the mark.  It’s hard to keep on doing so for such a long time but please continue.  If you know anyone who’s lonely, isolated, needing a helping hand, give them a ring or pop a note through their door.  That may save someone’s serious unhappiness or even their life.

Probably because more people are at home during the day, I’ve had no reports of burglary since October, but there has been a spate of outhouse and vehicle break-ins.  Hearteningly, some have failed because the owners have used preventive measures or because of the vigilance of local residents.  For example, on December 17th someone gave evidence leading to the arrest of two people responsible for thefts from vehicles and criminal damage to them.  And the police have warned householders after reports of suspicious loiterers apparently sussing out cars parked in their road.  Please keep your eyes open and don’t hesitate to ring 101 if you see any sign of criminal activity.

This next bit will make you say “Ahh, lovely!” In Warlingham a mother duck was hit by a car as she ran over the road with her babies. The driver stopped and the RSPCA was contacted.  Their officers – and PCSO Danusia who happened to be in the vicinity – spent an hour scrambling in bramble bushes rescuing the ducklings, even catching one which ran out in front of another vehicle.  All 8 ducklings, and their mother, who was still alive, were taken to Wildlife Aid and are now fully recovered.  Who says police officers aren’t multi-skilled and warm-hearted?


In 2020, despite the lockdowns when were not allowed out, we managed 21 sessions covering 7 sites.  As I write this, I’ve just picked up an email to say we can again operate, but with only two people and with stricter rules, so we will be back on the roadside again asap.  During the November fortnight when we were allowed out there was a very noticeable increase in traffic speed.

The Roads Police recently conducted Operation Tramline in which an HGV was used to get a “cab’s-eye view” of poor driving, and motoring offences such as use of mobile phones and not wearing seat belts. 285 offences were detected including a driver steering with his elbows, a man watching a video and someone putting on makeup in lane 4 of the M25 – almost unbelievable!

Locally, thoughtless parking is a problem.  Vehicles have been left at junctions, on bends where the road is narrow, on pavements and even on double yellow lines which is strictly against the law.  Barfields has been especially bad. The police are aware of this dangerous behaviour and will be addressing it.

Stay safe.

Di Turner:    01883 743598.