RYEDALE, SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY & FILEY
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ASSOCIATION
(incorporating Rural Watch)
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT
We were to have received a Crime Report this evening from Sandra Rees but unfortunately she has had a fall and injured her wrist which means that she is unable to drive to be with us this evening – hence her apology this evening – and since neither of the Inspectors can be with us this evening, Sandra indicates that the report will be presented at next Monday’s Scarborough Community Impact Meeting which several of us will be attending albeit that this is not really ideal for our AGM purposes but a compromise as I appreciate that some of you may not be available to attend that.
Firstly, a very warm welcome to our first AGM and then a big sincere thank you for all the commitment and hard work that you and your Neighbourhood Watch Teams have undertaken in partnership with the police, other agencies and the community, which has been greatly appreciated in helping to keep our parts of North Yorkshire a low crime district.
Indeed, in a recent e-mail to me, Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward expressed a sincere thank you for the work that we all undertake in partnership with the police and the community.
In particular, I would like to thank Steve Law for his outstanding work and commitment as our Administrator who agreed to take on also the role of Secretary when the position became vacant at short notice a few months ago. Recognising that we could well encounter difficulty in filling the post immediately – mindful that considerable training would be essential for CMS, e-mails etc - I decided to invite Steve to take on the role of Secretary as well on a temporary basis, subject to later ratification.
You will be aware from a previous communication that there is a motion tabled for the Secretary post, this to be discussed at this AGM.
Hence, immediately prior to me opening this AGM I asked the Voting Committee Members to ratify my action retrospectively in accordance with 5.4 of the Constitution.
On that basis, I am putting forward a motion that (at least for the time being) we dispense with the Secretary post and integrate it within the Administrator non-elected post, mindful that both posts merge on many activities – if the motion is not supported, then a reliable Secretary must be identified immediately of course as the Association cannot function otherwise.
Very kindly, Steve Law at present sponsors our RSWF NHWA website (which I hope you all visit reguarly!) and Steve must be very delighted that his hours of labour has not been in vain because I can report that during 2017:
? There were 11,000 visits to our website
? During last year, some 16,500 pages were viewed
Over the past twelve months the composition of our Committee has changed - due sadly to a mixture of some having to retire as a result of ill health whilst others for various personal reasons – to them we must thank them for their past commitment and to those new faces on our Committee since the Inaugural Meeting, welcome on board because we are always delighted to welcome on new Committee Members !
Overall, the area covered by our Association has very active NHW Schemes – although of course we should always be on the look out for improvement and expansion opportunities! – but the one exception that concerns me as Chair currently is Whitby following the retirement of David and Maggie James who had been great ambassadors for our organization in those parts in recent years but who had seemingly become frustrated by the lack of contact and support from their Co-Ordinators – something I know that many of us may experience.
However, together with PC Neil Cholmondeley -Neighbourhood Beat Officer - Whitby Rural and PCSO Ann Burton – both very keen supporters of NHW – we are working together in an attempt to re-vitalise NHW in the Whitby area and a public meeting is in the course of being arranged within the next few weeks as the first step, thereafter seeking media coverage to promote NHW.
NHW is seeking to get away from the "behind net curtains image" by supporting the Police more effectively with greater involvement in serious crimes such as child exploitation, domestic abuse and drugs, vulnerable persons, burglary and road safety, especially with the support of younger members that we are trying to attract.
NHW District Meetings with the Police – previously held at Scarborough Police Station – have been discontinued in recent months and replaced by attendance of NHW representatives at meetings of the Scarborough Community Impact Team – mainly due to pressure upon NYP resources to always have a representative attend meetings as in the future more reliance in this respect will be placed upon Scarborough Borough Council Community Officers.
Mindful that the average age of our current NHW membership being in aged 55 –75 or older, I am delighted that already in Ryedale an initiative is being established to tackle the problem of attempting to reduce this high average membership age, and in this respect approaches to schools and young farmers’ organizations is being explored and we must wish the initiative well.
Elsewhere, over the next 10 months NYP in the Scarborough/Filey areas planning to run a series of monthly roadshow/events with other agencies and Police Volunteers, including NHW. These events will take the form of a desktop display in various public locations around our area and be about a different issue each month. They will be similar to the drink and drive awareness days which NYP holds in the run up to Christmas each year.
Decisions need to be taken in the short term regarding NHW commitment (or otherwise) to attend agricultural shows and events in the district.
NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE COMMUNITY MESSAGING SERVICE
In preparation for our AGM this evening, I have been reviewing the use of the NYP Community Messaging Service and in particular the analysis of the following based on the figures obtained:
? the Preferred Channel
? Age Range of Recipients
? Gender of Recipients
North Yorkshire Community Messaging (Public Channel)
? Total of 22,674 public recipients
? The highest percentage of these are aged 55 –75 or older
? Approx. 55% are female
? 60% receive messages via e mail
? 24% receive messages via text
? 11% receive messages via landline
? 6% receive messages via NYP App
RSWF NHW and Rural Watch Community Messaging (NHW Channel)
? Total of 2,850 NHW & RW recipients
? The highest percentage of these are aged 55-75 or older
? Approx. 55% are female
Scarborough has 1,316 NHW & RW recipients
Ryedale has 1,534 NHW & RW recipients
? Approx. 50/50 split between NHW Coordinators and Rural Watch members
? 70% receive messages via e mail
? 18% receive messages via text
? 12% receive messages via landline
At meetings around the area of our Association, I have been pressing for more effective use of CMS – but as some of you will be aware already, we have been confronted with various explanations including that many Police Officers/PCSOs remain inadequately trained whilst others feel a reluctance to send out Messages for fear of disciplinary action against them if Messages inadvertently contained confidential information. There seems to be some uncertainty as regards how much Officers can share with NHW. I find most of these explanations unreasonable and merely excuses at a time when we at Neighbourhood Watch are very keen to be supporting the Police but lacking some input from the Police side via CMS to be able to do this more successfully.
Curious at to why the highest percentage of CMS Public Channel users are in the age range 55-75 or older and that over 55% are female - also why only 6% receive messages via the NYP App, I wrote to the Deputy Chief Constable as seemingly this suggests that the CMS tool is not being marketed effectively by NYP and its Officers. We are frequently told that young persons prefer to receive messages via social media such as Facebook etc, but on the face of it this is not being evidenced.
The response from DCC Lisa Winward was that a lot of hard work has gone into Community Messaging and if it is not achieving the right outcomes for our communities or NHW then it needs to put right as it is a system with lots of potential and NYP wants to make sure we make the best use of that for the benefit of all. Therefore, Lisa Winward sought an explanation from Natasha Almond and Inspector Vicky Taylor (of the Partnership Hub) as they have had significant involvement in both NHW and Community Messaging.
The Partnership Hub reported that as at 17th August 2017 some 22,827 (revised) individuals had signed up to the CMS service and the age range/gender was of those registered who had provided such information which was not mandatory:
? 16-18 year olds – minimal
? 19-34 year olds – circa 500
? 35-54 year olds – circa 1,600
? 55-74 year olds – circa 2,000
? 75 years or older – circa
? Female – circa 2,480
? Male – circa 2,520
The Partnership Hub assured me that NYCM is continually being promoted to the general public through a number of initiatives:
· OP Woollen – the Rural Task Force’s farm crime prevention initiative
· Keeping Safe Roadshows – led by Police Support Volunteers, supported by Neighbourhood Policing colleagues, rolled out force wide
· Agricultural shows – dedicated Neighbourhood Policing teams, promoting the service
· Social media – regular reminders of the service and links to sign up platform
Operational Support Officers, working in front counters, who are trained to carry out admin duties and assist members of the public with NYCM registration queries, are available in all command areas of North Yorkshire.
As regards the younger (16-34yrs) members of the public being under represented, the Partnership Hub confirmed that this is true but the department is currently looking at initiatives to address this:
? North Yorkshire Youth Commission – workshop to highlight areas for improvement to assist with youth engagement
? York University – invitation to the Uni’s Student Support Services to utilise NYCM as an information sharing tool between NYP and students
The Partnership Hub accepted that the 55-74 year old age bracket is indeed the largest representation, but claim that this has been influenced by specific targeting of identified vulnerability, using intelligence tools such as Mosaic Data. For example Operation Tansu, an initiative to target those identified at highest risk of fraud and financial exploitation in the York North area.
The Partnership Hub reported to me also that NYCM has developed positively since its introduction, the support from the public and their keenness to assist in making North Yorkshire a safer place, has resulted in a number of successful conclusions to criminal investigations and missing from home enquiries and added that the public themselves had responded positively to the service, with the following survey results:
? 87% satisfied that NPT’s are keeping them informed of crime, anti-social behaviour, and suspicious activity
? 87% are overall satisfied with how NYCM is working
? 91% would recommend NYCM to others
I am assured by the Partnership Hub that NYCM is introduced to all PCSOs as part of the IPLDP training package. When they begin their tutorship on area, I am told that they are given access to the NYCM platform so that they are exposed to sending messages from the outset. Clear guidance on message content and sending procedure is readily accessible to all PCSOs on the dedicated Intranet subsite.
This is not always in evidence or the case from our experiences !
In conclusion, the Partnership Hub advises that if the Ryedale, Scarborough, Whitby and Filey NHW Association have issues with the content or strategy in which messages are sent, then we should raise these concerns with our local Neighbourhood Policing representative and work together to improve the overall effectiveness of the service, mindful that Supt Dey and Chief Insp Colbourne are both aware of our concerns – my own frustrations are that such representations have been made in the past (including Ringmaster – the previous communications system) without positive result.
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK
Formerly known as the Neighbourhood and Home Watch NetworK NWN has recently now converted to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and changed its name to the Neighbourhood Watch Network.
Neighbourhood Watch Network (NWN) is the strategic voice for the movement and is supported by the Home Office and two sponsors - ERA Home Security and the Co-op Insurance – you’ll see references to the latter on the reverse of the new window stickers !
We should remember that Neighbourhood Watch is the UK’s largest voluntary crime prevention movement with well over 8 million member households and nationally sees tens of thousands of volunteers sharing information every week to help keep themselves and their communities safe from crime.
Interestingly, research has found that households living in active Neighbourhood Watch area experience 21% fewer burglaries than similar households.
At the top of our National Neighbourhood Watch organization, over these past twelve months there have been some changes and developments – and I do urge that Members do take advantage of the very comprehensive information that is contained on its revamped webpage www.ourwatch.org.uk
Sadly respected NHWN trustee and former chair Jim Maddan OBE passed away in September and on 30th November David Huse, OBE became its new (National) Neighbourhood Watch Network Chair. David was head of the London Ambassador Volunteer Programme for the 2012 Olympic Games and former Sales Director for Heinz and Proctor and Gamble.
In addition, four new trustees have also been appointed to the NWN Board and full details are contained on its website under News and Events from which you will see highlighted such things as for example:
? Crimestoppers has launched a modern slavery campaign
? NWN’s mission to get more people thinking about Elder Abuse
? The National Trading Standards Scam Team – NWN’s trusted Neighbourhood Watch partner – has secured Government funding to provide free call blocking technology to protect those in the most vulnerable circumstances from nuisance and scam calls. Free call blockers will be available to any person living with dementia that is currently receiving scam or nuisance calls.
? The outcome of a survey that reveals more than one in ten of the youngsters polled (11%), who are aged 18 to 24, have fallen victim to ‘phishing’ scams – where fraudsters access personal details though online communication – compared to just one in 20 (5%) of over 55s, according to the report from Get Safe Online, the UK’s leading source of information on online safety and Neighbourhood Watch partner.
? How Neighbourhood Watch – nationally - is working to highlight the issue of Disability Hate Crime within our communities – it has teamed up with the Disability Hate Crime Network (DHCN) to provide NHW supporters with information and resources to help people better understand the impact and extent of this issue in our neighbourhoods.
So as you can see there are many challenges that face us locally in respect of people in all ages and stages of their lives and much to be gained as ideas that we can work upon together from National NHW through its website and the regular Newletters that National NHW provides.
We shall be receiving a report later in the meeting regarding crime trends in our part of the County, but local media has recently reported that crime is on the rise in our County – although caution is required when interpreting the figures.
Nevertheless, Jayne Pascoe, Strategic Partnerships Director for Neighbourhood Watch, has thought fit to comment that as regards the national scene – where nationally, burglaries have increased by 32% - there are more people contacting NHW wanting to set up a Scheme in their area - an important way people can take an active role in protecting their homes. And we must not become complacent !
Ideally, in accordance with the Standards and Roles for representatives of Ryedale, Scarborough, Whitby and Filey NHW Association, we need to have a Business Plan in place.
I am proposing to formulate for discussion and approval at the next Committee Meeting a DRAFT 3 Year Business Plan that will be based upon priorities deemed appropriate by the Committee – in this respect, please do e-mail me with your suggestions and ideas eg Vulnerable Persons, Drugs etc and what initiatives need to be considered to be included with an Action Plan that will be relative SMART goals: ie specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant and time bound.
Chair - RYEDALE, SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY & FILEY NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ASSOCIATION (incorporating Rural Watch)
1st February 2018