Conf Report

Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Annual Conference October 2014

The annual conference was held at the Runnymede Centre, Addlestone on 2nd October 2013. There were thirty co-ordinators and deputies from around the borough present for the evening, a disappointingly small number compared to previous years.

A couple of the talks during the evening were given by Neil Frame from the Economic Crime Unit, Surrey Police. He outlined several kinds of fraud and scams that have affected Surrey residents in recent months and gave advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of them. Surrey is seen as a wealthy county and many criminals involved in such scams are acting from out of the county, mainly from London.

Some of the valuable pieces of advice/information from his talks:

Criminals buy 0845 numbers then divert them to their mobiles – they are not genuine;

Are the fraudsters off your line when you think you are eg phoning your bank? If possible, use another phone. If not phone a friend and see if your call gets through;

Criminals sell lists of their victims of fraud to other criminal gangs, so victims are likely to continue to be victims of others;

For help and advice or to report a fraud go onto the Action Fraud UK website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us

We also held a brief AGM from the Steering Group (see the AGM minutes and Annual report). 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 other agencies with advice on keeping both people and property safe.

The last talk of the evening was from our Crime Reduction Advisers for North Surrey, Victor Smith and Elaine Burtenshaw. They gave an overview of the types of crime in our area, the likely criminals and victims and ways in which both the police and we as residents can reduce local crime and simple steps we can take to avoid being a victim of crime and losing our property.

They strongly advised people to register their property. It has been proved to help reclaim property that is stolen. You can register your property for FREE on the national IMMOBILIZE website https://www.immobilise.com/index.php

At the end of their presentation they took questions from the floor about local issues around the borough.

Neighbourhood Commander Roger Nield rounded off the evening. 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. (See the summary of the questionnaire responses.)