A public meeting was held on Tuesday night May 2nd 2006 in The Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar in order to establish a new Neighbourhood Watch Scheme for the Rathbawn Road area. The meeting was facilitated by Sgt Tony Cosgrove, Mayo Division, An Garda Síochána, who explained what is involved in setting up such a crime prevention measure in a locality. More than 60 residents attended the meeting from the road. Neighbourhood Watch provides a structure through which local people can co-operate with the Gardaí in a real and substantial way for the benefit of their own localities.
While Neighbourhood Watch is not a panacea for all ills, it does have great potential in preventing certain types of crime, most notably burglary. It can also play a major role in allaying the frequently unjustified, but understandable, anxiety and fear of crime felt by many citizens.
Paddy Glynn, Rathbawn Road was appointed Chairperson of the group, while Brian Hoban, Gallows Hill was appointed Secretary of the group which will be called Rathbawn 2 Neighbourhood Watch. Co-ordinators for the various areas were selected and appointed at the meeting. The primary role of the co-ordinators is to act as a point of first contact for members of the Scheme, to receive and distribute information and to recruit new members. The co-ordinators will hold periodic meetings to discuss various issues as they arise.
The Gardaí provides each resident who joins a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme with information. A local Garda will be appointed to liaise with each scheme. Following the appointment of this officer a meeting will take place between Co-ordinators, Officers and the Garda representative with a view to implementing a crime prevention strategy. Anyone interested in volunteering or who requires further information should contact Castlebar Gardai at 094 9038261.