In 2002, Andrew McDonald reignited the watch and expanded the area covered, doubling the number of households. Former Chairman Andrew, who retired in 2015, also expanded the committee, including Matt Sprott who is the current treasurer.
Drumpellier, including the Country Park is a former private estate, the residential area of which is approximately one square kilometre, nestled amongst the Monklands Canal to the north, the Drumpellier Country Park to the west and the Golf, Rugby & Cricket Clubs to the west and south. The majority of the 450 households are detached and semi-detached houses, with a small number of apartments and steadings. It is a quiet, green leafy area, with ancient woodlands, SINCs (sites of importance for nature conservation) an SSSI (site of specific scientific interest) and two large lochs which were formed towards the end of the last ice age. Residents feel lucky to live there and take an active part in keeping the area safe and well maintained. As a result there is a strong sense of community spirit and one of the lowest crime rates in the West of Scotland.
Over the years, the Drumpellier Neighbourhood Watch has assisted residents with home security measures, fitting CCTV cameras and distributing personal attack alarms. Suggested membership collected door to door is £2 per household and there is an annual fundraiser with an auction and car boot sale to raise funds. Given the beautiful countryside surrounding Drumpellier, gardening has been a large part of the watch and much of the funds raised are used by the Area Enhancement Committee. In the last 12 months the watch has purchased bat and bird boxes for surrounding woodland, sensitively restored an historical gate on the grounds of the estate and donations were received of eight large, wooden planters so teams are regularly organised to garden and tidy up communal areas.
Quote from Fiona Boyce:
“Drumpellier Neighbourhood Watch is about so much more than home security and neighbourhood vigilance. We are a community group. This community helps the more vulnerable amongst us with gardening and home maintenance and we also represent residents to police, the council and other agencies on matters such as speeding traffic, flooding, potholes, street lighting and dog fouling.
“I think communication and our consistency are a big part of why we’re a success and continue to engage so many residents. We meet quarterly with attendance from the Community Police Officers, our local councillor, Bill Shields and on average 30 residents. I receive phone calls and emails from residents regularly, about local concerns for the agenda and we inform them of anything we feel is relevant. Often I meet a resident and they ask when the next meeting is, they want to know if we need money or raffle prizes for our fundraisers and before I can answer…a bottle of merlot is thrust into my hands!”
“ Drumpellier Neighbourhood Watch is a remarkable community group, which demonstrates the core values of Neighbourhood Watch and the Community”