Neighbourhood Watch Founder Receives Posthumous Award

Mr Ray Newton recognised for his services to Chiswick community

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The Police in Chiswick

Mrs Morel-Newton has received an Award of the Borough Commander’s Commendation on behalf of her late husband, Mr Ray Newton, for his services to the Chiswick community and that of Cranbrook Road.

Presenting the award, PC Davina Stokes, formerly of Chiswick's Homefields Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team said, "In the early 1980s a PC canvassed Chiswick residents and Mr Newton came forward and started on the of the first neighbourhood watches in the borough.

"It all started with one public meeting which was organised by Mr Newton and the PC. It was a bitterly cold night so they did not believe anyone would attend and only put out a few chairs. However, people started arriving and just kept coming! In the end they had to keep putting out chairs until there were about 80-90 people. Mr Newton made a list of the all the neighbours who attended and took them under his wing.

"Mr Newton and his wife held four meetings a year at their home, with the obligatory wine and nibbles but the Christmas meetings were more of a party. Mr Newton continued to be the coordinator and over the years he was responsible for lots of good work in this area. He single handedly motioned the council to remove some yellow lines that had caused havoc in the street for years. On a more recent note he was responsible for persuading the owner of an empty property to evict the squatters that were living there. Whether it was making sure the trees were cut or pavements repaired, Mr Newton put in a lot of time and energy into taking care of the street and the people living in it.

"Mr Newton continued to be a very keen and active man and at 83 he could still be counted on to know everything that happened in the street. His neighbourhood meetings were always eventful and every minute was recorded on his old stereo so he could complete the minutes later without error! He continued to recruit people on his street, young and old throughout the twenty odd years it was running.

"When I took over as the Safer Neighbourhood Officer in June 2006, Mr Newton was enthusiastic in getting to know me and ensuring that I would be as enthusiastic about his street as he was. He like to see all the team along the road, especially on our bikes as it reminded him of the good old days! He was a pleasure to know and work with .

"I know Mrs Morel Newton and her daughter are immensely proud of what Mr Newton achieved in his lifetime and his service to the community of Chiswick and Cranbrook Road."

December 18, 2008