MALVERN’S new Neighbourhood Watch leader is appealing for hundreds of good Samaritans to come forward and help the fight against crime.

The call by Martin Lawrence comes after the number of registered local co-ordinators in the town fell from 101 to 55.

He said the fall was discovered as police prepared to move to a new e-mail-based system to distribute information about crimes.

“Some of the people who were down as local co-ordinators have moved away, some decided they were too old and some had died,” he said.

But Mr Lawrence, who became group co-ordinator for Malvern last month wants to go much further than simply replacing the old local co-ordinators.

He wants to attract more than 400 co-ordinators, with the ultimate aim of putting one in each of Malvern’s streets.

He said: “It’s ambitious, but I was a salesman for 40 years and I know you have to aim high. It may take years to get that number. This is an opportunity for good Samaritans to really become involved.”

Volunteers will need to have internet access, so they can receive alerts from the police about local crimes and pass them around their neighbourhood. He said internet training will be available.

“Malvern is not a high-crime area. Most of the messages are about things like damage to cars, thefts from sheds or gardens and anti-social behaviour,” he said. “We also get messages when there are people going door-to-door trying to sell something.”

He said that volunteers can also do tasks like distributing stickers that tell cold-callers they are unwelcome, and giving advice on crime prevention measures, such as SmartWater.

He has contacted district and county councillors and local church groups to help spread the word.

Mr Lawrence also wants to launch a junior Neighbour-hood Watch and to get the ambulance service and groups such as Red Cross and St John Ambulance to help training first aiders around the community.

Police Inspector Jane Francis said: “We need as many pairs of eyes and ears as possible out there telling us what’s going on so that we can catch criminals in the act.”

Anyone interested can contact Mr Lawrence on