Residents of estates plan to employ night guard

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The Independent Online
HOME-OWNERS on two new housing estates plan to beat rising crime by employing a private security patrol. Residents of the showpiece estates in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, are being asked to contribute pounds 2.50 a week to pay for a guard.

People living on the Hylton Manor and Fulford Grange estates say they have no complaints about the police, they just want extra security. The night patrol will start on 1 September if 150 households sign up for the scheme, and the co-ordinator, John Fothergill, 30, of Hylton Manor, is confident the target will be reached.

'I don't think there will be any problem. We haven't lost faith in the police, but we realise what a difficult job they have.

'The police approve, we have policemen living on the estate who are all for it. We have had four burglaries on our estate in the last year. It's not an enormous problem, but we'd like to nip it in the bud.'

For their money, the occupiers of the 64 houses at Hylton Manor and the 164 at Fulford Grange will get a guard patrolling the neighbouring estates on foot throughout the night. Lindsay Suddick of Delta One Security Services, which will supply the guard, said: 'While the homes were being built, the builders employed a security guard and it was very effective. The residents just want that feeling of security to continue. Our guard will have a very small beat and hopefully he can do a decent job.'

Superintendent Lew Graham of Northumbria Police said he welcomed the scheme: 'Anything that puts an extra pair of eyes and ears out on the street to combat crime can only be good . . . I wouldn't mind if more were set up.'