Community meet-and-greet resurrected for Olympics

Kingston Guardian: Glen Keywood was among those who launched the idea Glen Keywood was among those who launched the idea

An award-winning community scheme that makes every day greetings a weapon in the fight against crime will return for the Olympics.

The Meet and Greet campaign, first piloted by residents in the Canbury ward in January this year following a spate of burglaries, will return while police are stretched dealing with the Games.

Residents are urged to put their reserve to one side and say hello to people in the street, to raise community awareness and decrease the chances their homes will become a target for thieves.

Canbury Neighbourhood Watch’s Nicola Duffey said the scheme, backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, will also help residents get to know each other.

She said: “Over the summer, and in particular the two-week period of the Olympic Games, we are encouraging residents to not only be more aware when they’re out and about.

“In the countryside everyone says ‘Good morning’ to each other, but we tend not to in the town, we are too busy minding our own business.

“So for the summer we’re inviting residents to look up at the street and not at their feet and quite simply greet with a ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening’ to all they meet.”

Sergeant Sam Mines, of the Canbury safer neighbourhood team, supported the scheme and said she was glad it was returning for the Games.

She said: “It is definitely a good idea particular because residents came up with it themselves and we are supporting them rather than the other way round.

“It has really brought the community together exactly as it did last time.

“It is also good for reducing crime because with everybody knowing one another, someone who does not live around here sticks out like a sore thumb.”

The campaign, a joint project between Canbury Neighbourhood Watch and Brag residents’ association, was awarded a Team London Star by the Mayor in March.

Presenting the award at a reception at City Hall, Mr Johnson said: “It is spot on that these extraordinary, selfless Londoners are being recognised for their contributions through volunteering in our capital. “Their commitment to helping those most in need should be an example to us all.”

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Comments (1)

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3:00pm Tue 24 Jul 12

Rivermummy says...

Somehow I find this a sad reflection on society. Why do we have to have a campaign? What happened to simply smiling and saying hello as you pass people - if this were a village we would all know each other. On my way to work I have a number of people whom I wave to and say good morning as I cycle past - they cheerily wave back and wish me good morning - no one told us to do it we just do. For years when cycling with my now 24 year old son on the way to school we had a whole plethora of people we came to know and wave to I just keep that up even without a child to protect me.

Come on Kingstonians learn to be friends with each other its fun! And if you are passing by Railway Wharf - stop and chat if we are out on the quay we are always happy to meet and greet!
Somehow I find this a sad reflection on society. Why do we have to have a campaign? What happened to simply smiling and saying hello as you pass people - if this were a village we would all know each other. On my way to work I have a number of people whom I wave to and say good morning as I cycle past - they cheerily wave back and wish me good morning - no one told us to do it we just do. For years when cycling with my now 24 year old son on the way to school we had a whole plethora of people we came to know and wave to I just keep that up even without a child to protect me. Come on Kingstonians learn to be friends with each other its fun! And if you are passing by Railway Wharf - stop and chat if we are out on the quay we are always happy to meet and greet! Rivermummy
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