August 2011 News

August 2011

News from the Steering Group

Welcome to the first Neighbourhood Watch e-newsletter from the Steering Group, which we are sending out to all the borough co-ordinators for whom we have e-mail contact details. (We intend that the annual, more detailed newsletter will be sent out in November to all co-ordinators as usual, using postal services for those who do not have access to the internet.)

New web-site for Neighbourhood Watch https://www.ourwatchmember.org.uk

This web-site was launched earlier this year. It is very user-friendly and is full of news from watches round the country, (you can request to receive local area news via e-mail), ideas that you might want to use for your own watches and a search option to find watches in your area. This means that you can find out if neighbouring streets have watches if you want to establish a local network of co-ordinators to exchange information. BUT, this can only happen if you and other watches all register on the site!

What the site also offers is a large resource section with a variety of downloadable posters, sample letters to neighbours, promotional material etc which you can adapt to suit your needs. You can also register to receive e-mail alerts which, for example, advise you on the latest crime trends in your area and how best to safeguard yourself and your property.

Conference February 2011

Our first AGM and conference was held in Runnymede Civic Offices. There were about 50 co-ordinators and deputies from round the borough attending, staff from Safer Runnymede and several officers from the borough’s neighbourhood police team. To begin the evening there were several stands with information, eg Safer Runnymede, Age Concern, advice given about anti-social behaviour, parking issues, crime prevention etc. After a short AGM there were guest speakers talking about Trading Standards, the Mediation Service and Anti-Terrorism. We ended with a question and answer session to hear from the co-ordinators themselves.

The feedback questionnaires from the evening were extremely positive. Many co-ordinators were pleased to have the opportunity to meet others from the same area to begin networking with them. Many also commented on how useful and interesting the various talks were. There were several who commented on the range of information available to collect from the stands, which they had not seen previously. There was a consensus from the co-ordinators about wanting more time to communicate and discuss issues with each other during the next conference.

Next February’s conference

At our next steering group meeting in September we will be starting to plan the conference to be held next February. We had some suggestions from those who attended the last conference, but we would like to hear from as many of you as possible with your ideas for the format of the evening and possible visiting speakers. You might like time put aside to meet and talk to other co-ordinators who are in your area and learn about what other watches are like, for example. You may want to hear from one of our neighbourhood police officers about what they do and how we, as watch co-ordinators, can help. If you have any points you wish to make about the evening, please send them to the e-mail above by the middle of September, so that we can collate all suggestions and use them to guide our planning of the event. Details will then be sent out to you in the November newsletter.

Database

We are proceeding well with our update of the police database of watches for the borough. Several, unfortunately have been found to be defunct, but hopefully some can be relaunched with new co-ordinators. There are many parts of the borough without watches at all and our next campaign is to get new watches up and running, through mail shots, promotional material on posters etc.

Contact details

If your details (or your deputy’s) have changed, or you are no longer a co-ordinator for your street, please get in touch with us so that we can update the police records. Similarly, if you know of other co-ordinators who have not received this e-mail, please urge them to get in touch so that we can put them on our mailing list.

Finally, we on the Steering Group look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the next conference in February 2012, but in the meantime please send any comments, requests or queries to the Group via e-mail or via the Watch desk phone-line, as in the box below.

Sandy Stephens

Secretary