Dear NHW member, 21st April, 2020
As I have just taken over from Terry Wallis the role of Chair of Ryedale Scarborough Whitby and Filey Neighbourhood Watch Association I thought it only appropriate to introduce myself to you and share my views on the future of this association.
Firstly I would like to thank Terry for his many years of dedicated service to the NHW organisation in various roles. Latterly he has been village co-ordinator for Marton and also chair of Ryedale, Scarborough, Whitby and Filey NHW Association (RSWF). This he has done with great energy, thoroughness and attention to detail. He has not been one to flinch from challenging police activity, policy interpretation or its application whether that be with his fellow co-ordinators or with the Police Service. I would ask you to join with me in thanking Terry for all his hard work and persistence over the years he has been with the NHW association and to wish him well in his retirement.
With regard to my own NHW experience, I moved to Ryedale in 2005 from Hertfordshire following a career in the Metropolitan Police and have lived in Ryedale for the past 15 years. I was NHW co-ordinator initially whilst living in Wilton and latterly in Great Barugh. I consider my police experience gives me a balanced insight into the demands and constraints on North Yorkshire Police especially with the reduction in resources during austerity. I believe we in the community can support the police by minimising the opportunity for crime and criminals to flourish in our dispersed, rural neighbourhoods. The local police deserve all the support we can give them to do a difficult job and make our community a safe place in which to live. We need to remember that North Yorkshire along with Cornwall are the counties with the lowest crime rates in the UK, however we should not be complacent about that as travelling criminals and organised crime organisations may have other plans!
As we look forward in unprecedented social times of national social isolation and austerity due to the Covid 19 pandemic there is even greater need and demand for us to support our family, extended family and neighbours in order to minimise the adverse impact of our collective situation.
I am sure you have been as impressed as I have with the simple acts of devotion, selflessness and sacrifice of some members of our local communities during the Covid 19 emergency. Whether that be by the medical and nursing staff, emergency services or people working in the supply chain and retail sectors to enable us to put “bread on the table” and continue our daily lives. The example of Captain Tom Moore and his sponsored walk which has raised funds in excess of £23million for the welfare of the devoted nursing services is just unbelievable!
The current and emerging demands on all members of the NHW movement to support our neighbours have naturally extended beyond our normal focus of crime, criminality and anti-social behaviour. The ethos of the NHW network lends itself to supporting all those who may be elderly, infirm or otherwise vulnerable whilst exercising social distancing and I commend supporting such initiatives to you in any way you may feel appropriate.
We as members of NHW therefore need to be flexible in our approach to watching out for our neighbours and utilising the NHW networks to support all members of our local community. We should be especially responsive towards local initiatives that support the welfare of our neighbours eg placing and collecting orders for food, medication or essential supplies as well as keeping medical appointments. If that other you or your watch has been involved in such initiatives then please share them through our facebook page so members may share and celebrate your success to benefit from your experience and adopt them as well.
I look forward to working with you all over the coming months, to celebrating the work of our association, seeking and implementing new initiatives and developing it further so that we continue to be one of the safest places to live in the country.
Ryedale, Scarborough Whitby and Filey
Neighbourhood Watch Association.