This guest post is by Stephen Armson-Smith from Essex Police
Heritage Watch was launched in Essex on 23rd April 2015 following the pattern of those already in existence in Cheshire and Hertfordshire. Since that date there have had numerous mini launches around the county membership currently stands at 135 members. We have also assisted Kent and the City of York with the launch of their Heritage Watch schemes.
Heritage Watch is an Essex Police led partnership between agencies that are committed to protecting our heritage, as well as members of the public who want to help preserve our heritage.
The watch scheme looks to maintain and preserve important places of interest, encouraging vigilance and reporting of suspicious activity around sites. This is to prevent any theft or crime that may damage assets beyond recovery, which may lead to the loss of a piece of history for this and future generations.
Heritage Watch locations would include ancient earth works and archaeological sites, listed buildings, museums, galleries, religious buildings, historic visitor attractions buildings and objects of importance to the local community and others.
We aim to inform Heritage Watch members; of crime prevention advice, incidents affecting heritage assets, events and general information relevant to heritage assets both local to Essex and further afield. Naturally no news is good news in relation to crime reports, but we hope also to source other relevant news of interest too. This information will provided by Essex Community Messaging (ECM) and e-mail messages via your local Essex Watch Liaison Officer.
Who can join?
Anyone with a heritage interest including those entrusted with the care or management or ownership of a heritage asset as listed above, or even as an heritage enthusiast or frequent visitor to heritage locations, you can all help each other within Heritage Watch.
For further information and an on-line application form go to:
Like other watch schemes we hope that Heritage Watch will be a two way flow of information, with general relevant information and events sent from members via their local Essex Watch Liaison Officer to other members, and members reporting crime and suspicious activity to the Police either by dialing 999 in cases of emergency or crimes in progress or for non-emergencies by dialling 101 or by reporting online.