REPORTS of four alleged robberies in 12 days has rather blighted late summer in Witney this year.

With so much optimism at the beginning of the holidays surrounding the opening of the new splash park, it seems as if the summer has ended somewhat prematurely.

Town mayor Jim King is right that people should not panic. Witney is hardly going to go from peaceful town to crime hotspot overnight.

However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that staff at shops and service stations across town were left upset and frightened.

This is when security can become key. CCTV and keeping an eye out for your neighbours can make all the difference.

People should not be put off shopping locally by these reports.

We are lucky enough to live in a district where people do look out for one another.

It is important we support our local businesses, not just by keeping them busy, but by helping the police with information that might help with the investigation.

Our crime rate in Witney is relatively low and that comes from having a close-knit community in which people care about those around them.

Even keeping an eye out for an elderly neighbour every now and again can help reduce crime.