PERSONAL alarms are to be given free to women and teenage girls in Basildon to help keep them safe.

Basildon Council is buying crime prevention equipment to hand out to residents who fear being targeted.

The kits include a variety of crime-busting gadgets including personal alarms, window alarms, property marking kits, bike marking kits and car key defenders.

Personal alarms have been popular with parents of teenage girls, as well as window alarms, which are attached to the frame of a window.

If the window is smashed, an alarm sounds out, alerting the homeowner.

Following a recent committee meeting, a total of £6,500 is set to be spent on the kits which will be made available to any resident who would like one by contacting their ward councillor. Further funding will go to Neighbour Watch.

Property marking kits contain an invisible pen to write your name and address on home valuables such as televisions or laptops, to enable the police to reunite the goods should they get stolen.

Car key defenders work to block the signal transmitted from the car key.

Criminals have been known to use special devices to detect these signals to gain access to a vehicle.

Councillor Kerry Smith, who submitted the request, and launched the Together with Safer Communities scheme two years ago, in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch and Essex Police, said the latest season of Neighbourhood Watch meetings have been exceedingly popular but wants to continue encouraging residents to attend the meetings, to raise any concerns they may have and to ensure their voices are heard.

The deputy leader for Basildon Council, said: “We have actually been running out of personal alarms and window alarms. They have been very popular so we want to make sure there are plenty of crime prevention kits available to anyone who wants one.

“Neighbourhood Watch meeting are extremely important to allow the police to gain new information but also to come together to tackle any ongoing issues with crime in the area.

“It’s a focussed forum on making the borough safer, helping to cut crime and ensure people are protected from crime with the crime kits.”

If you are interested in joining Neighbourhood Watch, visit