Annual Report 2016

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 Surrey 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 RBC Safer Runnymede and the representatives for each of the regions within Runnymede. The current NHW regional representatives are as follows:

Addlestone Town Sandy Stephens (temp)

Row Town Ottershaw & Foxhills Sandy Stephens

New Haw & Woodham Colin Brown

Englefield Green Keith Bendall

Addlestone & North Bourneside Vacant

Virginia Water Shirley Griggs

Thorpe & Hythe Vacant

Chertsey Meads & St Annes Brian Hunt, Sue Keith

Egham Town Keith Bendall (temp)

In May 2016 Steve Hodgkinson was co-opted onto the group, pending the AGM, and represents the Egham area.

From the current regional representatives the following officers were elected/re-elected at the 2015 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 annual conference. All their time is given voluntarily. Despite appeals throughout the Borough it has been difficult to recruit a full complement of regional representatives and Steering Group members thus our activities have been limited to the group’s availability. We urge people to consider coming forward to give the Steering Group some much needed additional capabilities and resource. In particular we need:

§ Additional Regional Representatives.

§ Additional Watch Desk Workers

§ An IT, Social Media, Web Master.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON ACTIVITIES

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. We currently have 125 Watches registered on our database for Runnymede.

Website & Social Networking - The Steering Group attempts to maintain a web-site 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 knowledge to progress this project.

Annual Conference & AGM – This is clearly our most important event of the year and was held on Tuesday, 6th October in 2015. The feedback received following the meeting indicates the Conference is appreciated and we will attempt to reflect your comments in arrangements for this year’s conference. One major change will be to conduct the AGM during a regular Steering Group meeting giving us some additional time at the conference for items you have asked us to cover.

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 the current CRA, Vic Smith, who has regularly attended our meetings throughout 2015/16, providing guidance and insight.

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.

We do conduct occasional mail shots to distribute printed material. In February this year we sent out a newsletter to over 170 coordinators and deputies, with single copies of leaflets; Scams, Stay Safe, and one of the new NHW roundels for windows to see how many were wanted for distribution to Watch members. We were very disappointed that less than 30 of the letters stimulated a response and only a few of the respondents requested copies to give to people in their Watch.

Advertising - A pop-up banner was designed and purchased during the year to advertise the existence of Neighbourhood Watch around the Borough. The banner has been positioned in the foyer of the Runnymede Council Offices and then Egham library, together with accompanying literature. It will be moved to other locations on a regular basis.

FINANCE

The Steering Group has relied solely upon grants from public bodies to fund its activities. The financial statement for the Group is included below and reports on a 15 month period reflecting our decision to move accounting to a fiscal year end of March.

It can be seen that the main expenditure remains the Annual Conference. There was no grant income in 2015 and the Group recognises that further grant applications will need to be progress in 2016/17 to establish financial viability going forward.

Banking arrangements were changed in February 2016 to a Community Directplus Account with the Co-Operative Bank to allow us additional banking facilities such as BACS payments.

Produce by: The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group.