Conference Summary Report

Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Annual Conference February 2012

The annual conference was held at the Runnymede Council Offices in Addlestone on 21st February 2012. There were over forty co-ordinators and deputies from around the borough present for the evening.

The conference began with a talk from Open Reach on the impact of metal theft in communities and what to look out for to try to prevent theft taking place. This generated much interest (as well as amazement about the audacity of the thieves)! (Remember, all legitimate work by BT will have men-at-work road signs up, the men wear white helmets only, not yellow, and all will have Open Reach on their high visibility jackets.) see £1000 reward poster

The coffee break afterwards gave co-ordinators time to meet one another and network. There were also displays of literature from the council, police, fire service and other agencies with information about services to the local community or advice on keeping both people and property safe.

This was followed by a brief AGM from the Steering Group (see the AGM minutes and Chairman’s report) and then a talk by our Crime Reduction Adviser, Liz Robinson.

Liz’s talk roused the greatest interest during the evening, with plenty of questions at the end. She gave an outline on what to look out for, and how to deal with, rogue traders and cold calling. She also discussed the tactics used in distraction burglary and the targeting of vulnerable people by the would-be burglars. She gave some very sound advice for us to pass on to members of our watches.

Police Sergeant Alan Sproston rounded off the evening, thanking the Steering Group and co-ordinators for all their efforts for Neighbourhood Watch. He said they were eyes and ears for the Neighbourhood Policing Team and urged everyone to keep reporting any incidents, however seemingly unimportant, to their local police officers. (The number for all non-emergency calls to the police is now 101 nationwide.)

Thank you to all co-ordinators who attended the evening, for your interest and positive feedback. We look forward to seeing you again next year and hope that we are joined by other co-ordinators who could not attend this year’s event. (See the summary of the questionnaire responses.)