Police in Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter are joining Neighbourhood Watch schemes in a new year appeal to the public to be more willing to report crimes.

PCSO John Webb said that police and residents are concerned about the number of recent incidents involving criminal damage and anti social behaviour that have gone unreported.

He said that speaking to Crimestoppers or forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme both help with the flow of information.

"We need to know what's going on, it's frustrating when things have gone unreported and we discover them two months down the line.

"This appeal is part of a move against the anti social behaviour that is making life miserable for people in Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter and Seer Green," he said.

Margaret Dale, watch advisor at Amersham police station, said that Neighbourhood Watch schemes can involve as few as six houses or an entire housing estate and that Neighbourhood Watch aims to reduce crime, the fear of crime and encourage community spirit.

"You are eight times less likely to be a victim of burglary if you are in an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme and some insurance companies offer discounts on household insurance if you are a member," said Mrs Dale.

Mr Webb said that many targets of crime are elderly or disabled people, often living alone and that while the police often have a suspect for a crime, they cannot work without evidence.

"We are a neighbourhood police team and we rely on public information co-operation in reporting incidents."

For information on forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme or for details of forthcoming meetings, call Tel 01494 736641.

To report a crime, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Calls are anonymous.