Conference 2013 Report

Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Annual Conference October 2013

The annual conference was held at the Runnymede Centre, Addlestone on 8th October 2013. There were over sixty co-ordinators and deputies from around the borough present for the evening.

The conference began with a talk from Surrey Police Commissioner, Kevin Hurley. He welcomed all the co-ordinators present, saying they were a conduit between the police and the wider public. He talked of the role of Police Commissioner in not just overseeing the police but working together with all agencies, councils and volunteers such as NHW. In this way law enforcement could be more effective in spite of the serious cuts to the police budget from central government. One of his priorities was to seize criminal assets to use as further funding to make more visible policing in the community. He took several questions from the floor at the end of his talk.

This was followed by Justin Freeman from the Locksmiths’ Association. His talk was on lock snapping and he explained about the types of locks available and those that were tamper proof against the “snappers”. He advised on the right kind of lock for various places, making the important point that in order for someone inside to be able to escape quickly in an emergency, an exit or exits should be “keyless”!

The coffee break afterwards gave co-ordinators time to meet one another and network. There were also displays of literature from the police, fire service and otheragencies with advice on keeping both people and property safe.

This was followed by a brief AGM from the Steering Group (see the AGM minutesand Annual report) and then a talk by our Crime Reduction Adviser, James Barrett.

James began by giving some further practical advice on locks and keeping our homes secure. (In his role as CRA he visits homes on request to carry out a security survey). He then gave a talk on scams, that roused a great deal of interest, as well as plenty of questions at the end. He discussed Identity Fraud, Courier Scams, “Inheritance” letters and so-called “Police Approved” products. He gave some very sound advice for us to pass on to members of our watches.

Neighbourhood Commander Roger Nield rounded off the evening, with a Q&A session, taking several questions/observations from the floor. He thanked the Steering Group and co-ordinators for all their efforts for Neighbourhood Watch and urged everyone to keep reporting any incidents, however seemingly unimportant, to their local police officers.

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. Click here for Conference 2013 Questionnaire Results