News from Central Bedfordshire NHW (CBNHW)
Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is all about Crime Prevention.
The objectives of NHW are to help residents make their homes safer, to encourage neighbours to look out for each other, to report all crime incidents and suspicious activity to the Police and, in doing so, to create much safer communities for all of us to live in.
Regrettably, many NHW Street Schemes are formed after a number of incidents have affected householders and, although this does at least establish some protection after the event, it would be far better for those safeguards to have been set up before the criminal activity took place.
Domestic burglaries affect the lives of hundreds of Bedfordshire families every year and the theft of valuable items, such as bikes, equipment and machinery, from garden sheds and garages continues on an opportunist basis. Anti-social behaviour, including vandalism and mindless acts of criminal damage, also blight the lives of householders throughout the County.
The promotion of NHW is essential to encourage far greater numbers of households to join together to fight crime.
If you are not already a member of Neighbourhood Watch, or would like to establish a new NHW Scheme where you live, then contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association by email, here.
5 May 2014
New Village-wide NHW initiative established in Caddington
Following on from the successful trial project to coordinate NHW activities in Studham, a new village-wide NHW Scheme has been established in Caddington. Under the direction of a new Area Coordinator, and with the support of the Parish Council, attempts are being made to provide NHW coverage throughout the village.
Like many rural areas of Central Bedfordshire, Caddington has seen a rise in criminal activity, particularly burglaries and attempted break-ins. This has caused considerable concerns to local residents and nearly 100 have now signed up to join NHW in the past month.
Caddington used to have one of the largest NHW memberships in the County, with nearly 500 members. However, over recent years, a lack of interest and shortage of volunteers to coordinate individual street Schemes, has seen the NHW presence almost disappear. However, it is now hoped that with more enthusiastic participation to fight crime in the area, as a village wide community initiative, membership of NHW can once again reach the levels it was some 5 years ago; and, more importantly, criminal activity can be significantly reduced or eradicated.
10 July 2014
New Village-wide NHW initiative established in Slip End.
Following an increase in criminal activity in the area, a new village-wide Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) group has been formed in the Parish of Slip End (which also covers Woodside, Aley Green and Pepperstock) in South West Bedfordshire.
With the assistance of the Parish Council, a willing volunteer was found to take up the role of Area Coordinator, in order to act as a central point of contact for the village. Individual Street Coordinators were then quickly recruited and every street in Slip End now has their own local NHW representative. Invitations to join NHW are now being made to every household in the village.
This is a significant success story and demonstrates how easy it can be to establish Neighbourhood Watch throughout a whole community. All it really takes to get a NHW Scheme started is to find a few willing volunteers to act as local points of contact. Then, with advice and direction from the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association (together with support from your local Parish or Town Council) your neighbours can be encouraged to join up and become an effective crime prevention group that will, undoubtedly, make your communities much safer.
If you want to join or start up a NHW Scheme where you live, please contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association.
Problems making “101”Calls
CBNHW has been monitoring complaints of poor responses to the reporting of incidents and suspicious behaviour to the Police non-urgent “101” telephone line.
Over the past 6 months we have been informed of ‘disinterested’ and ‘dismissive’ responses by some of the telephone operators. Additionally, callers have been challenged as to the purpose of their calls and the unique reference numbers (to enable follow up to any calls that are made) are not being given. We are aware that several people have reverted to using “999” to report a non-urgent call, because of the poor response from the “101” telephone operator.
Specific incidents have been reported to the Police and we have been informed that follow up action, including re-training of personnel, has been undertaken. As you may know, all 999 and 101 calls are answered by the same personnel at Kempston Police HQ, so it seems that the problems are linked to individual telephone operators, rather than the service itself.
Nevertheless, CBNHW would like to hear from anyone that has had problems reporting incidents using the “101” number. If possible, we need to know the circumstances of the call, the date and time, and what problems occurred. Please email us here.
Bedfordshire Police appoints new Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer
In a positive response to CBNHW’s request for improved communications between our Area and Street Coordinators, and the Local Policing Teams, Bedfordshire Police have now appointed a PCSO to act as the Central Bedfordshire Police Liaison Officer to NHW.
Juliet Wright has already taken up her duties and is currently familiarising herself with the organisation and distribution of existing NHW schemes in Central Bedfordshire.
Her main role will focus on the interaction of local schemes and their Local Policing Teams. She will also be on hand to support existing schemes and also assist the creation of new schemes throughout Central Bedfordshire.
Continued Success for Caddington Village-wide NHW Scheme
Following the successful re-launch of NHW as a village-wide scheme in May 2014, 27 individual street schemes have now been established in Caddington with some 400 members.
The continued success and growth in membership reflects not only the enthusiasm of the NHW Area and Street Coordinators, but also the commitment of the Caddington Parish Council to support all “Watch” schemes, particularly NHW.
Villages have a unique identity and people living there seem to have a greater affinity for the community they live in. This has undoubtedly helped promote NHW and also give purpose to households to join schemes with their neighbours.
As well as improving the safety of the community and promoting effective crime prevention, practical results have also resulted with several persons arrested for criminal behaviour and an overall reduction in crime, especially burglaries.
If you live in a village in Central Bedfordshire, and have no NHW schemes operating there, then please seek support from your Parish Council and get in touch with CBNHW here. We will give you every assistance to get NHW up and running where you live !