A recent crime wave has prompted residents of Long Lee and Thwaites Brow to set up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.

Organisers of the crime-busting partnership say both villages were targeted for an “onslaught” over a period of two months.

Residents claim there was an incident almost every night, with numerous burglaries and many more attempted burglaries.

Expensive cars including Audis and Mercedes were stolen from outside homes, and one resident filmed CCTV footage of a person wearing a ski mask and waving a large knife at his camera.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Catherine Lawless: “Villagers became very concerned as historically the area had had a relatively low incidence of crime and people felt it was a relatively safe place to live.

“This made us a soft target for people with criminal intent, so we decided to set up the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to raise awareness of how a community can come together and co-operate to reduce crime in its area.”

Residents setting up the scheme were supported and advised by Howard Buckley, the Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for West Yorkshire Police.

Catherine said meetings in the Village Hall received a positive response from residents, with numerous people signing up immediately to become the co-ordinator for their street.

These coordinators take responsibility for displaying Neighbourhood Watch signs, following up on issues, and passing information directly to the police.

Don Graham, the deputy Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, said he and Catherine attended a meeting of the Baildon Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to see how they operated.

He said: “We were amazed at the number of residents attending which was in excess of 100. There were several speakers from West Yorkshire Police, and the Baildon and Bingley Council Ward Officer was in attendance.

“A great deal of advice and information was shared with everyone and we came away understanding how a community can join forces to tackle local crime.

“Since the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme was set up in Long Lee and Thwaites Brow the level of incidents has decreased significantly, but we remain vigilant and have no intention of becoming complacent.”

The Long Lee and Thwaites Brow Neighbourhood Watch Scheme covers various streets in the area but is seeking to increase its coverage.

Anyone interested in becoming a street co-ordinator should email their details to catherinelawless50@gmail.com.