Colchester District Neighbourhood Watch Report to Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association To September 2021

Good News.

  1. Abberton and Langenhoe NhW were represented at the Village Fun Day on 4th September. £50.00 was raised through voluntary donations a few product sales and a raffle. A Coffee with Cops session in early October will benefit from extra cake but the bulk of what was raised will fund activity yet to be decided.

  2. £400 has been raised by 90 members of our Blenheim Park Scheme and used to purchase a defibrillator for the community. Colchester District banked the funds while additional funds were raised from other sources.

  3. About 10 new members have joined the Fringe Members Scheme in Colchester this period. Unfortunately, persons who join National NhW and reside in Colchester rarely convert to membership in Colchester.

  4. One new scheme with 20 members has started in the North Station area of Colchester.

  5. A presentation was given to villagers in Great Horkesley by Lisa Mitson of the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. The presentation was enthusiastically received and very well attended.

  6. Further Coffee with Cops sessions are planned with specific themes. For example, 'How not to be Scammed or Defrauded at the doorstep or online’.

  7. An Independent Advisory Group has been set up under the auspices of Community 360. Known as the IAG, this is a strategic partnership group that seeks to enable cohesive two-way communications between Colchester Police and the diverse communities within the Borough. I am yet to learn why NhW has been invited to participate.

  8. I have the local volunteer placing organisation (Community 360) looking for someone to assist me in building the membership, but so far no one has come forward.

Bad News.

  1. A fourth coordinator has retired from NhW due to unresolved Anti-Social Behaviour. It seems that there is no effective process in place for dealing with ASB and all we can do is elevate concerns to increasingly higher authority. The perpetrators are the winners every time.

  2. The number of members responding to a survey on behalf of CrimeStoppers about Rural Crime was poorly supported. After two reminders the number of members responding climbed from 4, to 39, to 190. It is reckoned that 4% of returns is perfectly acceptable and 190 is roughly 5%. Still disappointing since the survey only required a member to click a link and spend two or three minutes choosing from multiple choice answers to questions posed. Lessons have been learned.

  3. Really concerned about how COVID, family finances and employment issues may have affected active membership and administration. Highlighted by the above survey and by two or three Coordinators telling me they are “Unsure about who has the list of members”. Also at least one member contacting me directly and asking why the weekly mailings from the coordinator have stopped.

  4. I have to say, I am beginning to think I am wasting my time. National’s expectations of what can be expected of volunteer coordinators with families, jobs, aging parents, and worries about finances, is out of touch with reality and thoroughly demotivating to those who do their best with the time and resources available.

Grahame Stehle.