A Proposed Meeting of all Herefordshire Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators
Since March of 2013, as part of the T4C (Time For Change) project [which is part-funded by the West Mercia Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner] I have been trying to arrange a meeting with ALL the existing Herefordshire NHW co-ordinators in order to rejuvenate the Herefordshire Watch scheme I have been told that there are countless issues as to why the previous scheme has lost direction over the last 3 - 4 years and these have included the cost of providing a suitable venue and a lack of support from the Police.
I do not work for the Police directly. Instead I work alongside them and I have been charged by the PCC with engaging with the Herefordshire NHW, identifying the issues that led to its demise and then working with you and with the West Mercia Police to ignite new interest and to provide a scheme that will be well supported and effective. During a series of recent discussions with the current local Police Supt, Ivan Powell, and the Deputy PCC, Barrie Sheldon, it is quite clear that they both support an attempt to re-engage with NHW and we are now presented with an opportunity for real progress.
With this in mind I would like to hold a meeting (or series of meetings if necessary) so that all Co-ordinators can be included, and I will provide a suitable venue free of charge. I am also happy to arrange and to attend later meetings at different venues across the County to maintain interest and engagement with NHW, but it would be preferable if the first series of meetings were to take place in Hereford itself.
I share the frustrations of many of the people I have spoken to in relation to the delays in organising this initial meeting/s as I have been trying to arrange this meeting with NHW for over 6 months. Having held many discussions with those involved, I now feel that I must make a direct appeal to all co-ordinators to please attend a meeting where the items on the agenda will include:-
The history of the Herefordshire NHW scheme and the reasons behind the demise of the County-wide NHW scheme
The purpose of a NHW scheme and how can it be effective in 2013
How to create renewed interest
What can NHW do to assist the Police and vice versa
NHW Best Practice
What support can you expect from the Police and Crime Commissioner
Please respond to Martin Field
at "email@example.com" if you are interested in attending the proposed meeting/s as your support will send a clear message to our other partners regarding our intention to re-establish this really worthwhile scheme right across the County.
Once I have the numbers of those wishing to attend I will circulate proposed dates / times that will include evenings AND weekends in order to offer a chance for as many people to engage in this consultation.
Please take a look at the T4C website (click the direct link below)
for further details of the Herefordshire project and my background.
Project Manager T4C - HerefordPersonal Contact Details
Landline : 01981 590 707
Personal Mobile : 07501 646467
Personal Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Membership of Professional Bodies
Member of the International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association
Member of the Area Council for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce
Member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
Member of the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers
Member of the Civic Society
7th October 2013
Warwickshire Police And West Mercia Police Announce
Local Policing Changes
From 30 September 2013, the delivery of local policing services serving 745,000 households across Warwickshire and West Mercia will change.
As a result of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review the forces are required to identify £30.3 million in savings by 2015. The new policing model is designed to deliver the maximum protection possible to communities throughout Warwickshire and West Mercia.
All areas will continue to be served by a locally based, dedicated Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) comprising police officers, police community support officers (PCSOs) and special police constables. Their primary role will continue to be to work with local people and partners to identify, tackle and solve issues of day-to-day crime and anti-social behaviour.
Across Warwickshire there are 33 SNTs
Across West Mercia there are 82 SNTs
Over 600 special constables will support SNTs across both forces
Managed by a police sergeant, each SNT will include one police constable and two PCSOs.
Thirty SNTs in areas of high demand (defined on the basis of reported crime, incident levels and community need) will have two police officers and four PCSOs. One of these PCSOs will be based at a local school as part of the forces’ Safer Schools Programme.
Response officers operating from 14 patrol bases across Warwickshire and West Mercia will also support Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
An important element of the changes being announced is an extension to the powers of and hours worked by PCSOs. In future their additional powers will allow them to play a greater role in tackling harm caused by drugs and alcohol and they will be allowed to patrol later in the evening. Experience suggests quality of life issues such as anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and graffiti most commonly affect people and SNTs are trained to tackle and solve these issues.
The forces are also making a commitment to make SNTs and response officers as visible and accessible as possible including reducing the time they spend travelling to and from their operational base. In future they will be able to spend more time on patrol thanks to investment in mobile technology. 67 TETRATABS (a mobile tablet style computer) are being introduced which, using the latest technology, will allow SNT teams to remotely access information and complete paperwork on the go. Each SNT will be also be equipped with a Blackberry and three mobile police stations will be introduced to rural communities in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire whilst Warwickshire will use four mobile stations (two of which are privately funded).
The forces also remain committed to seeking the views of and engaging with the communities that the SNTs serve. In future each SNT will be promoting their work and responding to local people’s comments via dedicated Twitter accounts.
Detailed SNT information relevant to local areas will be available on
www.safer-neighbourhoods.co.uk (Warwickshire) and
www.westmercia.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods/ (West Mercia)
The more formal PACT and Community Forum meetings will continue to be held.
Gareth Morgan, Assistant Chief Constable at Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: "Safer Neighbourhood Teams form the foundation to local policing in Warwickshire and West Mercia. They are very successful in protecting the public from harm. Retaining 333 PCSOs, extending their powers and hours, alongside the support of over 600 special constables, will deliver a visible presence to the communities they serve.
"Our significant investment in mobile technology will enable more intelligence led patrolling, providing our communities with a more accessible and responsive service."
Ron Ball, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire said: "Local policing plays a crucial role in all aspects of protecting the public in Warwickshire. I'm a great supporter of the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) model which is why I pledged to support it in my manifesto. Given the ever tightening financial constraints imposed on us I'm delighted that our alliance with West Mercia has produced savings enabling us to keep-and indeed strengthen our SNT teams. Together with the enhanced powers and working hours for PCSOs, and the continuing recruitment of special constables we are fully exploiting the value of the alliance and demonstrating what two independent forces working together can achieve."
Bill Longmore, West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "People told me during my election campaign that local policing is an important way of maintaining or increasing public reassurance, and it is high on my agenda. These changes to the teams, alongside better use of technology and extended powers and hours of PCSOs, will ensure that officers are visible and easily accessible within communities, despite the significant reduction in police funding."
Please note the following message which I am circulating on behalf of Mr Martin Field.
Obviously I would encourage you to support Mr Field (and Mr Koenigsbeck) in their efforts, as a fully functioning County-wide Neighbourhood Watch Association will potentially be of great benefit to all members in the longer term, providing support to street-level schemes.
Mr Field is keen to take on members' views and his contact details are below.
Hereford Shire Watch
"As you're a subscriber to one or more of the Neighbourhood Watch circulars sent out by West Mercia Police you will probably be aware that the Herefordshire Neighbourhood Watch has not been fully functioning for some time. In 2012 it was resurrected as the Hereford Shire Watch (the new name being specifically intended to differentiate it from what had gone before). It was overseen by Eardisley's Roger Prout, Juergen Koenigsbeck and Martin Field and great things were expected of it. The new organisation has been registered with West Mercia Police, the Home Office and various other bodies, and it had been hoped that a meeting of Coordinators and other interested parties would be held at a central location, somewhere in Hereford.
Unfortunately Roger Prout, who was the leading light behind the new "Watch" has died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving the "Watch" temporarily leaderless. Nonetheless, the idea of having a centrally coordinated Watch, regardless of its name, is too important to simply let go.
Please bear in mind that the Hereford Shire Watch is still alive and well.
Starting almost from scratch won't be easy but it would be good to know just how much support there is out there for a central Neighbourhood Watch/Shire Watch organisation.
In Worcestershire, as an aside, their Neighbourhood Watch group has been promoting Smartwater as a Crime Prevention measure and has so far sold more than £80,000s worth to their members. This shows what can be done to attract publicity and it is assumed that we'd be able to get discounts on the full price. At the very least, both we and our members would benefit from bulk buying.
If there is a case for putting together a central group to represent Herefordshire's Neighbourhood Watch groups and to act as a central point when it comes to representation, please get in touch and let me know what you think.
Connecting with West Mercia Police has not been easy, with several messages left unanswered, but I have excellent contacts, plus 25 years police service, and I'm sure that this can be overcome. I'd like to suggest that, once we know the level of support in the County, we should hold two inaugural meetings, one on each side of the County. This would hopefully eliminate the need for anyone to have to travel too far and would make it easier for us to find halls that hold us all.
You are all coordinators or people with an interest in Neighbourhood Watch and in keeping your neighbourhood crime-free. So, this is your chance. What do you need? What has been missing for the last year or so? It's understood that there could be cash available for Neighbourhood Watch purposes from Herefordshire Council, and the newly appointed Police and Crime Commissioner. I'd like to think that we can "hit the ground running", explain just how useful we can be, and then put forward our "wish list".
Juergen and myself can't do this alone. We need help! Any volunteers out there who'd like to take an active part in the "Shire Watch" will be most welcome. In the meantime, watch this space and you'll be updated as and when anything happens.
Never forget that we are all Volunteers. We are here to help. Most importantly, please remember that,
If you SEE something, you should SAY something!"