Biggleswade Community Safety Group was honoured to receive the Chief Constable Commendation award, the highest recognition the force can give for outstanding contribution or bravery.
Four of its members attended a ceremony at Police HQ on November 6, when the group was recognised for its help with police operations and large number of projects, as well as its swift work during emergencies.
It was applauded for the following: Speedwatch; Streetwatch; Neighbourhood Watch; Biggleswade Business Watch; Dog Watch; CBC Community Alcohol Partnership; bike marking at Biggleswade train station; giving out advice to local businesses about how to avoid commercial burglaries; assisting the fire brigade with advice on social media when there was a blaze at a recycling centre; and helping with three police operations.
Chair Amanda Cawthorn, said: “Receiving the highest award a police force can give was brilliant and it was really interesting to listen to the other police commendation awards that were presented. What some people have done is absolutely amazing.”
Explaining the police operations, Ms Cawthorn added: “Operation Beneke was an incident in January 2019. Lots of cars were broken into in the Kings Reach estate and all 15 members of the group met at 1pm at Sainsbury’s with PCSOs and some Specials, because the police wanted a visible presence in area.
“For Operation Chain we were based at Sainsbury’s asking people not to leave valuables on display, and for Operation Sceptre we were going around the community looking for knives. The police came with us too, as they were collecting them for evidence.”
The group was founded in 1999, and it works with the police, fire service, Central Bedfordshire Council and Biggleswade Town Council to help reduce crime. It also runs its own initiatives, for example, its current project, Darker Nights, encouraging people to look out for their neighbours and to mark their property.
You may also spot them at their community engagement days in supermarkets or the A1 Retail Park, or when supporting local events, such as Remembrance Sunday.
Its next event, a community engagement day, will be held at ASDA on Saturday, November 23, from 10am until 3pm. Vehicle Watch be there and its members will also discuss ‘How to stop keyless car theft’.