Having owned and been involved with horses most of my life, I was becoming more and more aware and concerned with the increasing level of equine related crime occurring locally.
With this in mind, and after some investigating, I discovered that in England they had Horsewatch Groups operating in most areas. These groups worked alongside Police and the Equestrian Community, sharing and reporting news on thefts, attacks or suspicious behaviour involving horses. Until recently, Scotland had not suffered the same level of Equine Related Crime, but this was changing.
In 2009, having gained the support of all Scotland’s Police Forces (now Police Scotland) and the British Horse Society Scotland, we have our own Scottish Horsewatch Group which has been running very successfully – Horsewatch Scotland
Having been running Horsewatch Scotland single handedly for the past few years, joining forces with Neighbourhood Watch Scotland not only offers members more choices and a more sophisticated, quicker way of being contact, but hopefully this move will also safeguard the future of Horsewatch Scotland.
My name is James Watson and I have been associated with Neighbourhood Watch for 31 years, I am married with 3 grown up children and 3 grand-children.
I worked in Local Government for 20 years and coming to Kirkcaldy I started our local Neighbourhood Watch in 1981, and wanted to make our area a place that people could live and be free from crime. Later on in 2005 I along with 7/8 other personnel met and formed The Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches and I was elected as Treasurer / Trustee to same.
During the period in between, I was invited by the Police to come and attend a meeting to see about forming a local association which included Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn, Burntisland and Auchtertool. This has been established and been running for 20 years, during which time I have served every position on from Chairman /Secretary/Treasurer/Vice Chair. As time progressed, I was a trustee for Fife NW and then in 2012 AoSNW changed over its name to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. Over the years my desire was to see NWS become a force of its own to prevent crime and make the whole of Scotland a country worth living in and promoting good citizenship and free from crime overall.
I have been a former Chair of the Fife Neighbourhood Watch Association and was the founding Chair of the Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches (former identity of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland).
I continue to support the neighbourhood watch movement locally and work alongside Police Scotland and Scottish Fire & Rescue to address community safety issues in my area.
As the current Chair of the Levenmouth Community Safety Panel I am engaging with Levenmouth Academy to raise pupil awareness of safety issues that may affect them, such as internet safety and safe use of social media. I am also actively involved with the Fife Society for the Blind and provide support and transport to organised events.
I hope as a Trustee I can use my experience of neighbourhood watch nationally and locally to make a valued contribution to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.