Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Neighbourhood watch

It was our regular monthly meeting last night and although I am vice chair I found it difficult. The usual round of crime reports which still show crime falling in our area so we must be doing something right. Our beat Sgt. is leaving which is particularly annoying. It takes about six months for them to learn the patch, get to know first the NHW (THE GOOD GUYS) and then the bad guys. Once the Sgt. is “trained” as it were, the police move him/her on and we start again. With neighbourhood policing it is not as bad as it used to be because the team is already in place and they have a commitment to the community but it is still disruptive and it does not take the villains long to catch on and I suspect our crime figures will increase later this year and early next, I wish Richard well in his new posting.
We submitted a petition to West Brom town committee on road safety in our area. This is the subject of a meeting later this week with councillors. I like to see how some people try to manipulate groups at meetings. One guy who is very vocal in writing to local papers sent a letter to the police objecting to our proposals. This was about six months ago. The letter was duly read to the group and included fully in the minutes. I was extremely miffed about this because a couple of meetings earlier the police civilian officer had read a statement to the group but this was never included in the minutes and they have persistently ignored efforts to have it published since. The guy who objected to our proposals last night claimed that the introduction of traffic lights at one of the junctions would impede emergency vehicles and thus endanger life. I never heard such tosh. This is typical NIMBY behaviour and I was having none of it. I don’t think he likes me much but then with an attitude like that he can get in the queue. The majority in our group want these traffic lights PDQ.


Bob Piper said...

I have mixed feelings about NHW. I get the impression it is a bit one-way towards the police. I favour a sort of Cuban Committee for the Defence of the Revolution Committee which is not as scary as it sounds.

What I wanted in my road - about 100 houses - was a system where we appointed about 10 people who would agree to act as co-ordinators. If they spotted anything suspicious they would report it via e-mail link to the other co-ordinators, and the police, and then the co-ordinators notified their 10 houses.

Other people with information would pass that to their co-ordinator, and the same process would apply. The police would notify the co-ordinators at a bi-monthly meeting of the crime statistics and anything else of interest, and if they needed residents to look out for anything in particular they could send it to the co-ordinators e-mails.

It just seemed more pro-active than NHW. Anyway, I haven't given up on it, I might give it a go yet.

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

A couple of years ago we took the decision to become an association with our own constitution and hence fund raising ability. This was to enable us to operate independently of the police. At this time neighbourhood policing was being introduced. We used to have problems when the police organised and ran our meetings that they would not turn up and hence a lot of frustration, Since the new arrangements police are invited and ALWAYS send officers.
My watch is 22 homes which is about the right size. I tried to expand a couple of years ago to something like what you describe. Although there was interest in doing it, no one would volunteer to be the new coordinators. So I dropped the idea. Over here we have about 50 watch schemes in the association. If you do get your idea off the ground please let me know. I like the idea of our estate being one big NHW area.