A NEW guide has been created to help the 104,000 Neighbourhood Watch members in the county fight crime.

The Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association is kitting out group members with a bespoke booklet which includes latest crime trends like cybercrime and modern slavery.

Chairman Clive Stewart said: “National Neighbourhood Watch produced a members’ guide which was very popular when it was last released.

"As there are no immediate plans for an updated edition, I thought it would be good to have a version produced specifically for Essex.”

Funding to produce 30,000 copies of the guide has been provided from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's (PFCC) community safety fund through a £4,005 grant.

Mr Stewart added: “This was our way of reflecting what we do in Essex.

"The most important thing is that our members get information that is relevant to the county. It promotes what we have been talking about and raises awareness of Neighbourhood Watch.

“We are the eyes and ears of the community, but so is everyone and we do more than that.

“We tell people how to contact the police, we tell people who to contact to reduce crime; we share information from the PFCC, Victim Support, Crimestoppers and Essex Police.

“It was pleasing to get the funding to be able to do this. It’s just brilliant. Without the PFCC funding, it would have been down to all of the Neighbourhood Watch districts finding their own funding for the members guides.

"It has not ended up costing them anything and each district gets 2,000 copies each.”

Another £11,000 has been awarded to the Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association to assist with running costs and the organisation’s AGM.

Police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst said: “The Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association is a brilliant organisation made up of extremely committed volunteers who really want to make Essex a safer place for everyone and help the police.

“I’m really proud that we can support them in this way.”