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A Neighbourhood Watch scheme has been set up at a Hereford mental health facility.

The scheme has been established at Stonebow Unit, which is within the grounds of the County Hospital, in order to improve safety and security around the building.

Bob Ilott, Security Advisor for ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the facility, said it was a sensible way to help service users, carers, staff and visitors feel more comfortable at the site.

He said: “Neighbourhood Watch schemes are a well established and recognised method of preventing crime and helping people to feel safe as they go about their business.

“Crime around Stonebow is generally very low, but we take security very seriously and anything we can do to make sure our staff, service users, visitors and carers feel more secure is always encouraged.

“We have a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator and are working with West Mercia Police to run the scheme, and may well set up other schemes within Herefordshire and Gloucestershire in the coming months.”

Initially the aim will be to record and report any suspicious activity around Stonebow, however the scheme will later involve safety talks to service users in particular on ways to avoid becoming a victim of crime and how to stay safe.

Stonebow Unit provides approximately 40 inpatient beds as well as a day hospital for people with mental health problems, including dementia.