RYEDALE, SCARBOROUGH, WHITBYN & FILEY
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ASSOCIATION
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT 2020-21
This year has been one like no other with the country in lock-down of various grades since last March. This has required a huge curtailment of personal interaction with our neighbours both in terms of daily socialising and interaction with our fellow watch members and other co-ordinators. This has prompted us to utilise and develop other forms of contacting our members by electronic messaging systems. These include: E-mail, texting, ‘Whats App’ messaging and national social media egFacebook. At the same time we continue to utilise more traditional messaging broadcasts from Community Messaging (Police Channel), from our own Association and local NHW groups such as Hinderwell.
This has raised expectations from some of our members and stakeholders that because information can be transmitted immediately that responses and actions might also be immediate! We need to take a step back sometimes and remember that we are not part of the emergency services but a group of volunteers aiming to assist them to support our neighbours and make our neighbourhoods safer.
2. New IT System
In July we finally gained access to the long-promised new UK-Wide national NHW operating system: Neighbourhood Alert. We have found this to be a marvellous resource of information about our organisation. These include a secure messaging system that enables us to locate and communicate directly with members both of in our own association as well as those further afield within North Yorkshire and elsewhere.
Of course it takes a deal of practice and patience to become proficient with a new IT system and with such state of the art technology. Please bear with us while we get to know our way around the system and familiarise ways to maximise the features, services, benefits and communication opportunities of the system.
3. Liaising with the North Yorkshire Police
We have continued to maintain contacts with North Yorkshire Police on a individual basis including: Inspector Martin Dennison (Ryedale Police) local Community Beat officers, Rowland Baxter (Digital PCSO, (PartnershipHub) and PC Andy Fox (Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer). We value the strong working relationship we have developed with the local community policing team and look forward to a continuation over the forthcoming year.
The Police and Crime Commissioner holds regular monthly public meetings on-line which are broadcast via U-tube which provides a useful way of keeping up with current events relating to crime and Policing. These forums are open to all so I would recommend that everyone spares the time for at least one viewing so that you can get a flavour of what the PCC’s approach to delivering a safer place to live across North Yorkshire. You may also take a view of where NHW may support and complement the effort and activities of NYP to make our communities a safer place to live. I will be very pleased to hear any suggestions and feedback from you for any activities that we as an association could adopt and undertake.
The regular Police and Community (PAC) public meetings held in Ryedale in Malton and Pickering have been suspended for the duration of the pandemic but we could consider requesting their resumption utilising Zoom Meeting Room if it there is sufficient support from our membership and the public o do so. The delivery of such broadcasts will of course be constrained by the operational commitments of the local Divisional Inspector and/ or his staff during a time of high policing demand.
4. Liaising with Community Partners
We have maintained our connections with other community organisations under the umbrella of NYCC The Stronger Communities Forum chaired by Paddy Chandler of North Yorkshire County Council. These quarterly Forums have provided us with the opportunity to:
a) raise the profile of NHW in North Yorkshire local government departments.
b) promote NHWN and our members to a variety of Local Government departments
c) forge lines of communication with those who wish to reach potential service users among our communities and work in collaboration with local co-ordinators.
d) Access training and development opportunities for members
e) Access funding opportunities for NHW initiatives
5. Regional and National Events
Over the past year a number of events both inside and outside NHW have been attended by either by myself or Mick Prince (Vice Chair), these include:
- National NHWA AGM
- National NHWA quarterly meetings
- North Yorkshire Stronger Communities Forum (quarterly)
- Ryedale Equalities and Prevent Forum
- Esk Valley Virtual Reality (a one-day Zoom conference
- Community Connect Volunteers (a local NYCC-promoted network forum)C
We will continue to work with our community partners regularly via e-mail and Zoom for on-line meetings. Face-to face meetings have ceased since the covid lock-down began in March but we can all look forward to the pleasure of personal meetings in due course now that immunisation is being rolled out!!
I continue to seek further opportunities to broaden the appeal of Neighbourhood Watch membership and to extend and expand the services we can offer to support our neighbours in making the community in which we live a safe and crime free environment and minimising the opportunity for criminals to exploit the residents in our neighbourhoods.
I would like to thank all members, co-ordinators, officers of the Association and North Yorkshire Police for your support over the past year and look forward to working with you in 2021.
Ryedale, Scarborough, Whitby and Filey
Neighbourhood Watch Association.
18th January, 2021