1. 2017 AGM
Constitution and Membership
The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group (SG) was set up in 2010 with the objective of improving neighbourhood watch value by providing support and information for both new and existing Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Runnymede Borough. It works closely with your Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) and the RBC Community Safety Partnership with the aim of representing the views of local Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
Our Constitution dictates The Steering Group shall comprise of a Surrey Police contact for NHW, a representative of Safer Runnymede and the representatives for each of the regions within Runnymede. The current NHW regional representatives (some to stand down at this AGM) are as follows:
Addlestone Sandy Stephens
Chertsey Brian Hunt, Sue Keith
Egham/Egham Hythe/Staines/Thorpe Steve Hodgkinson
Englefield Green Keith Bendall
New Haw & Woodham Colin Brown
Ottershaw/Row Town/Foxhills Sandy Stephens
Virginia Water Shirley Griggs
From the current regional representatives the following officers were elected/re-elected at the 2016 AGM.
Chairman Keith Bendall
Communications Secretary Sandy Stephens
Minutes Secretary Sue Keith
Treasurer Colin Brown
IT & Web Master Vacant
NhWatch Desk Brian Hunt
Steering Group Officers and Regional Representatives are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of the Steering Group. The Steering Group meets quarterly and additionally to progress special initiatives such as the local area conferences.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
Steering Group members standing down - I wish to offer my thanks and appreciation for their support and commitment to NHW to: Sandy Stephens (Secretary), Colin Brown (Treasurer), Brian Hunt (NHW desk) and Sue Keith (Chertsey area coordinator) who are standing down at the AGM. In particular Sandy and Colin have provided admirable service to NHW over a number of years and Brian has contributed significantly by manning the NHW desk in Addlestone Police Station for well over a decade.
Maintaining the NHWatch Database – This activity is without doubt the most important function of the Steering Group as without an accurate list of active watches and the residents who coordinate them we cannot effectively communicate. Your support in keeping us informed of any changes to your contact information would be much appreciated. As you will know, we undertook an exercise earlier this year to ask coordinators to assure us that their Watch Scheme was fully active and that alerts from Neighbourhood, Police and NHW were being passed on by email in a timely manner to their members. This regrettably resulted in the closure of a number of Watch Schemes (along with the removal of NHW street signs) as we could get no response, despite repeated attempts, to our efforts to obtain any form of communication or feedback. The members of those Watches will no longer be able to legitimately claim a discount on property insurance if it is available.
On a positive note we have registered a number of new Watches this year and we are always seeking to set up new Watch Schemes around our borough. If you can help us to obtain even better coverage in your area by promoting NHW and its benefits by word of mouth, please do so. The current number of watches in the borough is 110.
Website & Social Networking - The Steering Group attempts to maintain a website containing useful information for watch members and coordinators. However we urgently need to develop this valuable resource with the addition of social media channels. We continue to seek the services of a person who has the skill set to progress this project. We hope to hear from such a person in the near future.
Annual Conference 2016 - we held a very successful conference at Chertsey Hall last October. This was a public meeting to attract people not already part of the NHW family and through publicising of the event to promote NHW more widely. There was a full hall, including Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Pinkerton and four of his police officers for Runnymede, Crime Reduction Advisor Vic Smith, and Shazia Sarwar, Community Safety Officer for Runnymede Borough Council. There were talks on “A way to stop nuisance calls” and “Cyber Crime, its scale and how to combat it”. Inspector Nick Pinkerton gave a talk to outline the present staffing of the police in the borough and their priorities and targets that they have set. He gave some examples of their recent activities to highlight the range of duties that the Neighbourhood team are called upon to perform. His clear presentation and his evident passion and commitment to both his team and for good policing in the borough was very well received by those present.
Area Meetings around the borough – Your Steering Group took the decision towards the end of 2016 to move away from the Annual coordinators’ conference for 2017 and replace this with area meetings around the borough with the participation of Inspector Nick Pinkerton, to discuss matters of local concern and incidents. The first meeting open to NHW coordinators, their members and the public was held in New Haw in March and was well attended and successful. The next area meeting is to be held at the Hythe Centre in Egham Hythe on 11th October for residents of Egham, Thorpe and Englefield Green. Nick Pinkerton will again be in attendance to give a boroughwide policing update but with some focus on the local area.
If you would like to propose a meeting in your area please get in touch with Runnymede NHW by the usual means.
Support from Surrey Police - The support we continue to receive from Surrey Police through the involvement of the Crime Reduction Advisors (CRAs) in our meetings and activities is outstanding and truly essential to our credibility. Our thanks are extended to Vic Smith, who has regularly attended our meetings throughout 2016/17, providing guidance and insight. More recently it has been a pleasure to welcome Mike Bessent the other Northern Division CRA to our meetings. We also extend our thanks to our Borough Inspector Nick Pinkerton for his commitment to NHW and to Sgt. Ali Dunlop of the Community Safety Team, Northern Division for her much appreciated support.
Communication - Our policy of maintaining contact with our coordinators primarily via e-mail will remain as it provides quick, zero cost distribution of notices and information. As well as the email contact to alert coordinators to criminal activity in their area contact is also made by telephone via the NHWatch Desk. We would like to extend the telephone activity, which is currently limited to Mondays due to volunteer availability, so if you can spare some time please get in touch. Your support in maintaining the accuracy of the contact database, which is essential to this activity, is again requested.
Several months ago we sent out an email which offered to supply coordinators with copies of an extremely useful and informative Member's Guide. There was a very disappointing low response to that communication and few of the Member's Guides were distributed.
It is vital that there is effective, quality two-way communication between your Steering Group and coordinators/deputies. We are only as good as you allow us to be.
Contact with local Residents' Associations - We seek to keep in contact with local RA's and share information when appropriate. If you are associated with an RA that is not in contact with RNHW, please mention NHW.
Advertising - A pop-up banner, purchased to advertise the existence of Neighbourhood Watch around the borough has been positioned in the foyer of the Runnymede Civic Offices and Egham, New Haw, Virginia Water and Chertsey libraries together with accompanying literature this year. Perhaps you have an idea of where it could be displayed in your area.
Ourwatch site - Although our secretary keeps a list of all registered Watches in Runnymede, I should like to remind coordinators that they should also register their Watch Scheme at ourwatch.org.uk and will then receive Neighbourhood Alerts from that source as well as from your borough NHW. You can choose to receive alerts not only from the police but also other agencies such as the Fire Service. I would remind you that NHWN (the national organisation that oversees all NHW activity in the UK) require that all Watch Schemes are mapped through the Ourwatch site. This allows the coverage that NHW enjoys at present to be assessed and action taken through the regional and borough NHW's to target localities where there is no Watch activity.
New members of the Steering Group - I am pleased to report that volunteers have come forward to fill the officer roles for the Group and the Addlestone, Ottershaw and New Haw area coordinator positions. Steve Hodgkinson our Egham/Thorpe area coordinator has kindly agreed to take on the NHW desk role. We still have a vacancy for a Chertsey area coordinator. In addition, we require a person to act as membership secretary - a post fulfilled by Sandy to great effect. If you can help us with this role please get in touch as soon as possible.
I look forward to welcoming the new members onto the Steering Group at the AGM and working with them in the future.
The financial statement for the Steering Group reports on a 12 month period to March 2017 (see attachment).
There was again no grant income in 2017 however the Group has secured funding to boost the operational funds in this current year. This was achieved by an application for an allocation from Surrey County Council.
Funds are seen as adequate for our expected expenditure. Our main expenditure remains the Annual Conference however our decision to organise small more local community meetings may increase costs going forward. Our stock of NhWatch replacement road signs will also need to be replenished this year.
Please feel free to ask for further detail at the AGM.
Produced by The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group.