Luton crime victim wins national award for helping his community

Peter Appleyard
Peter Appleyard

A man from Luton has won a national award for his efforts in uniting the community after his home was targeted by burglars.

Peter Appleyard, 59, won the first ever Safe Community Hero award after resident Dorothy French nominated him for his hard work in Wigmore – he launched a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and has helped police to solve crimes.

The online security retailer, safe.co.uk launched the award earlier this year. They asked people across the nation to nominate stand-out members of their community who do great things to keep locals safe and help reduce burglary.

Dorothy said: “He set up the Neighbourhood Watch and makes time to help with local issues. He has also arranged events about how we can increase safety and security in the local area.”

Peter received over 380 public votes and was picked by judges from safe.co.uk as the overall winner.

He said: “It is a real honour to be awarded. I am surprised but chuffed to receive this award.

“I set up our Neighbourhood Watch scheme in 2018 after my garage was broken in to.

“I have attracted nearly 600 members so far and encourage people to share suspicious behaviour in our local area on our Facebook page.

“I work very closely with the police and our scheme has been involved in helping to solve some major cases. I love volunteering to make sure people in and around Luton feel safe and I am proud of the community spirit in our local area. It is an honour to receive this award – thank you.”

Nominations for the award were open to all, whether PCSOs, Special Constable volunteers, standout police officers, Neighbourhood Watch representatives or simply vigilant members of the community.

Peter and Dorothy have both won a Swann home security kit in recognition for Peter’s hard work.

Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk, said: “Peter’s work in his local area is outstanding and it is a phenomenal achievement that his Neighbourhood Watch scheme has been involved in tackling some major crime cases with the police.

“We have some impressive members of society who are going that extra mile to make sure we feel safe in our local communities. We can’t wait to see who takes the award for 2020!”