A NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch system which boasts over 37,000 members throughout Gwent will continue thanks to support from the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner and Gwent Police, it was announced on Monday.

The Online Watch Link (OWL) system is a Neighbourhood Watch-led initiative which sends out messages about crimes and problems to residents who have signed up. It enables local police officers, residents and volunteers to easily communicate with each other.

Funding for the OWL system will continue for another year from this month thanks to a £30,000 investment from Gwent Police.

Driven by Neighbourhood Watch, the OWL community has grown in Gwent every year since it was established over six years ago and now contains over 5,500 watches, including Farm Watch and Shop Watch. The funding for the next year includes the annual licence fee and service support for the initiative.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: “OWL is a fantastic initiative that is led by Neighbourhood Watch and managed by residents for the good of their own neighbourhoods and communities.

"Gwent utilises the system brilliantly and we now have a strong and established community online. It enables members to receive and share information about what matters to them in the way they choose.”

Ken Oliphant, chairman of Gwent Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: “We are grateful for the continued support of the PCC and Gwent Police. We My team in Neighbourhood Watch are adding new members every week and we want you to join the growing band of members who care about their communities, so please join OWL.”

Go to www.owl.co.uk/gwent