A neighbourhood watch group has received royal recognition for its service to the community.

HertsWatch, the umbrella organisation for neighbourhood watches across Hertfordshire, has received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award is for “excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community”.

Sue Thompson, chairman of HertsWatch, was invited to the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday June 5.

She said: “We are delighted to receive the award.

“It reflects the incredible effort that many hundreds of volunteers, from street representatives to ward co-ordinators, have given to developing Neighbourhood Watch across the county.

“In particular the 10 district co-ordinators should be immensely proud to see their hard work being recognised."

The royal accolade is the equivalent of an MBE for groups, charities and associations.

HertsWatch will be presented with a signed certificate from the Queen at a presentation ceremony by Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss later in the year.

Ms Thompson added: “Neighbourhood Watch is a fantastic way of helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Through the Online Watch Link (OWL), we are able to email residents to let them know about crimes happening locally in their area at the click of a button.

“Offering them helpful and simple crime prevention advice.

“It also helps residents to have a sense of community spirit.”

Hertfordshire currently has 137,000 households in Hertfordshire signed up to Neighbourhood Watch, which is believed to be the largest membership in the country.