Calls have been made for the return of a neighbourhood watch scheme in Downley after a supermarket staff member was left with a head injury following an armed robbery. 

Two men walked into the Co-op on Plomer Green Lane on Sunday morning at around 6.30am and assaulted the staff there before fleeing the scene. 

The terrifying incident has sent shockwaves through the village – and renewed calls for a neighbourhood watch scheme have been made.

Margaret Williams-Jacquet, who was secretary of the Downley Neighbourhood Watch for several years, says crime was “extremely rare” in the village before the scheme was shut down around five years ago.

She said: “It was decided to hold a public meeting for local residents to show their support as interest in attending meetings and becoming street co-ordinators was diminishing.

“In spite of wide circulation including articles in the ‘Village News’ there was no response and the Downley NHW ceased to exist.

“Things have changed in Downley and I believe that it has become a less safe place to live - up until recent years we had the benefit of community policing who knew the local residents and knew what went on in the area.

“A PC is s very rare sight in Downley now. An attack on local shops and supermarkets seems to be more common.

“Although I believe there are other factors involved - the lack of police on our streets must be connected to the rise in crime.

“Perhaps the residents of Downley will now begin to think a NHW might have some value.”

The comments come months after concerns were raised by Wycombe district councillor David Johncock that cuts to frontline policing were a “slippery slope to lawlessness” – adding that “members of the public reasonably expect to see Bobbies on the beat and regularly patrolling in cars. Such a presence is a key to deterrence – something that is sadly lacking at present.”

In response to the concerns, Chief Inspector Graham Hadley, deputy LPA commander for Wycombe, said: “In High Wycombe we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable, tackling violent crime and reduce crimes like burglary which have an impact of the lives of our communities.

“We are sure that we have the resources in place to enable us to deal with the crimes that most effect our communities and protect people in their hour of need.”

  • Anyone with information about the Co-op armed robbery should call 101 with information.