Wednesday, 27th April 2016 – This is my third annual report as Area co-ordinator. Neighbourhood Watch continues to run steadily in the Parish area with the continued support of the co-ordinators. My thanks go out to those that run each of the areas: Derek Humphries, Francesca Llewellyn, Gail Dawson, Iris Swingler, Jane Scott, Dave Bradley, Jill Chew, John Hoare, Mark Seabright, Stuart Andrews, and Vic Powell.
I also wish to thank Hilary Crook who has been running the Burnthorne Lane area. Unfortunately, despite her efforts this area is no longer viable as she has received no response or support from the current members. She is staying within the scheme along with two residents from Dunley Road who will now be incorporated under my area, so they still receive NHW notifications. This means there is now one less route, and 8 less members. There are now 11 routes and still about 180 local members of the scheme. A growing area of interest though is the Horse Watch scheme, which has introduced new members into the area. Although they don’t necessarily live in the parish their horses and ponies are in the area, meaning they are keen to be updated on what is happening locally, with particular emphasis around Equine information.
The local police team recently ran a property marking event and although it was widely advertised it was not supported with only one local resident from Astley attending but Shrawley was more successful as nine people attended. The local policing team have not given up on us but any future initiatives will be in conjunction with other local events of existing clubs, such as coffee mornings, meetings, shows, fêtes etc.
Modern technology has changed life and NHW with the majority of messages now managed by e-mail. The messages are sent by the police and forwarded onto members. The main crime issues in our area are fly-tipping, shed and out-building break-ins and thefts. Crime prevention measures include devices such as shed alarms and protection of oil tanks after a series of heating oil thefts. The emphasis is on preventing crime and using a multi agency approach, so the agencies work alongside each other to solve issues. Fly-tipping is a problem which needs local residents to report the location and the council to use their powers and action in the removal and prevention of further issues. Locally they have used CCTV and covert cameras to try and capture offenders and the cooperation of local land owners to prevent further problems. Tree trunks, gates and straw bales have all been used to try and deter further problems.
The biggest growing area of national crime is Cybercrime which includes lots of different offences but primarily focuses on the internet and mobile devices. There have been scams including courier fraud which is where someone is tricked into giving their bank card PIN number: identity theft and unauthorised use of bank and credit card details. The Police are trying to encourage and educate people in protection of personal details, care when using devices and use of security software.
Despite the changes in technology and life-styles, I feel strongly that NHW is still very relevant to local residents, which is why I still support and encourage people to be aware of their neighbourhood and keep information flowing.
If you are aware of any current or new residents wishing to join or receive NHW messages or Horse watch information please let me know.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Beard