RESIDENTS in Stoneclough have come out in force to help set up a neighbourhood watch team after a series of burglaries in the area.

Five burglaries took place in Clough Fold between January 14 and February 26, prompting 50 residents from the area to attend a meeting on Thursday night.

The meeting allowed residents to raise their concerns with the police and the police to give residents advice on how to safeguard their homes.

So far, more than 70 Clough Fold residents have put themselves forward to be part of the team.

Thursday night's meeting, which was attended by police community support officers and councillors, was arranged by Mike Hanley, a Clough Fold resident and retired police sergeant.

At least one person has been arrested in connection with the burglaries.

Mr Hanley said: "The team can work if people are committed to catching burglars.

"People will be caught and it will probably be through public intervention.

"This is our opportunity to help catch these people."

Among the residents who attended were Katie Chamberlain and Ian Kirkman, whose home was burgled on February 3.

The couple, who have three children, had an iMac and some jewellery stolen from their home.

Ms Chamberlain, aged 36, said: "I think it was very important to have this meeting, to make everybody aware of what is going on.

"I have a young boy and he didn't want to stay at home after we got burgled. It's had a big impact on us."

Mr Kirkman, aged 37, added: "If anything like this happened again, we would be willing to share information with our fellow residents and we will get on board with this team 100 per cent."

Thursday night's meeting took place at Holy Trinity Church, in Church Street, Prestolee.