1.      Welcome & Announcements 

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Gail for organising the venue and the refreshments.   

Attendance:-  Terry Wallis (Chair) Gail Cook (Secretary), Eric Dunstone, Ramana Sundara, Cllr Mike Jordon, Andy Fox, Catherine Park-Peyton, Bill Wood, Katy Piazza and Sgt Ed Simpson

2.    Apologies:-  Tina Oates, Evette Dadswell, Jill Galloway, Jo Hutchinson, Maggie and David James and Steve Law.

3.      Minutes of the last committee meeting – 7 July 2015 

The minutes were read and agreed as a true and accurate record.

4.       Matters Arising 

Funding is in place to purchase the banners but this is currently on hold waiting for confirmation of the new logo.

All agreed to identify the new banners so they are more easily identifiable externally in the future, also to devise an authorising sheet to enable NY NHW Co-ordinators to obtain the banner and for control purposes in the light of the current banner frequently being difficult to locate.

The Chairman had been contacted by BBC Radio York regarding a proposal for a revised method allocating Police Funding announced by the government.  The PCC is concerned that the proposed new formula will be based on population, crime, socio-economic factors, number of bars in towns etc, and North Yorkshire – albeit the largest county in England – is a rural county, and therefore, potentially could lose out on essential funding with an adverse impact upon rural policing.  With North Yorkshire being one of the lowest crime areas in the Country,  Terry had concluded that currently we “had it about right” although comment was made that over summer months crime had increased.

5. Chairman’s Report

We should all be very proud that North Yorkshire has been confirmed as being the safest place to live, work and visit in England by the Office of National Statistics – and this must reflect upon the Partnership we enjoy with NYP and the P&CC!

Published on 16 July 2015, the “Crime Statistics for England and Wales, year ending March 2015” report places the North Yorkshire Police area as the lowest crime location in England.   There was a total of 34,617 crimes in North Yorkshire. This reflects the continued determination to tackle crime in the county with a slight rise in crime – 0.5% increase, 168 more crimes – in comparison to the same period in 2013-2014.

No Doubt Sgt Ed Simpson will provide more details in his Police Report.  North Yorkshire Police is experiencing above average rises in offences of Burglary and Theft.  The Burglary offences are both Dwellings and non-dwellings and seem to be across the County, although centred mainly around the rural towns and the east coast.   The offences of Theft relate to shoplifting which again seems to have risen across the County.   Similarly it appears more prominent in the rural towns and the east coast – with a drop in these offences in the City of York and other larger populations.

Re-Branding of National Neighbourhood Watch – “The Way Forward for Neighbourhood Watch”
It has been announced that there is to be re-branding that will involve a review of corporate identity etc (including minor adjustments to the logo to update uniforms), the elimination of reference to “Our Watch” (except that the website will remain the same name albeit completely updated) and the dropping of references to Home Watch (existing schemes will either have to change their names it seems or opt out).

It is also under consideration for Regional Meetings to cease with more empowerment and direct communications to Force level.  Initially, a soft launch had been planned for 8th October but this has been deferred now until 3rd December when it is envisaged that Gail Cook and myself will attend the Conference in Birmingham, invited also will be Chief Constables and P&CCs.   Formal announcement of the changes will be made in early 2016.      A full outline of proposals and considerations will be delivered at the Committee Meeting.

Revised arrangements for obtaining Highways permission for erection of NHW signs
Current application forms are to be revised since it has come to light that ALL applications now have to be routed via NYCC at County Hall in Northallerton.  Sgt Ed Simpson is dealing with this matter.

Update on Provision of Additional NHW Banners
The order for 8 new pull-up banners for distribution across the County to aid PR exercises has been deferred in the view of the above re-branding proposals since we wish to ensure that they contain up to date corporate identity etc – the matter will be progressed once the way ahead is formally announced by National NHW (expected in Spring 2016).

New Government Proposals for Future Police Funding Formula
The Home Office’s  “Consultation on reform of police funding arrangements in England and Wales” paper about reforming the formula used to distribute funding between the 43 geographic police force areas in England and Wales (July 2015) resulted in me accepting an invitation for an interview with BBC Radio York after concerns were expressed that future police funding may be more directed at urban areas rather than rural areas and that the proposed new funding formula from the Home Office would severely disadvantage rural areas such as ours, putting at risk front line policing and in particular Neighbourhood Policing.  There is also a suggestion that factored into the funding is a greater Precept contribution from more affluent areas.

Ringmaster Messages/Schemes
Monthly details are shared monthly and whilst some improvement is being seen, I continue to press for greater use of Ringmaster Messages as an investigative tool by Police Officers.   I attended a meeting in August at Police HQ relating to the future of our Community Messaging System and a draft Specification Document is being prepared towards the next stage of seeking tenders from some four different options.

Update on Charitable Status Application
Our application has been declined due to the fact that the proposed use of monies did not meet criteria:  HMRC had responded with some advice regarding how to amend the wording to receive more favourable consideration and since papers sent to our Treasurer have gone astray I have telephoned HMRC to request that it sends to me a copy of the relative correspondence so that matters can be progressed.

Promoting NHW at Agricultural Shows throughout the area
Although lacking volunteers, NHW will have been represented at the vast majority of Shows in the area this year with some potential leads achieved and certainly a great deal of goodwill – thanks are due to NYP and Safer Ryedale teams.

6. Police Report – Sgt Ed Simpson 

Criminal Damage and Burglary.

Hambleton and Richmond:
Criminal Damage and Theft from Persons.

Shop Theft, Theft from Person.

Scarborough and Ryedale:
Criminal Damage, Burglary Dwellings and Shop theft.

Criminal Damage, Non-dwelling Burglaries and theft.

7. Review of District Reports 

Terry Wallis – District Lead for Ryedale
We should all be very proud that North Yorkshire has been confirmed as being the safest place to live, work and visit in England by the Office of National Statistics – and this must reflect upon the Partnership enjoyed between NY NHWA, North Yorkshire Police and the Office of the P&CC plus all the other Agencies that contribute to common goals relating to crime reduction and prevention.

There has been an outbreak of burglaries and thefts in the area, particularly on the coast, including shoplifting.

Cross border crime seems to remain a problem – there have been several instances of lead being stolen off the roofs of buildings and other property being stolen from rural areas.

New Local NHW Schemes
I am delighted to report that during August two new NHW Schemes were established in Malton (at Maiden Greve and Crabtree Drive at Broughton Manor): another potential Scheme is being explored in Kirkbymoorside.

Two PCSOs continue in their tasks to identify areas within Ryedale where NHW is poorly represented and to seek to establish new Schemes.

New Pickering Area NHW Co-Coordinator
Mrs Evette Dadswell is to commence her new role in September to replace Susan Mansfield who has had to retire due to health issues.   Evette is already a Co-Coordinator.

Promoting NHW at Agricultural Shows throughout the Ryedale and Scarborough and Whitby area

Although lacking volunteers, NHW will have been represented at the vast majority of Shows in the area this year with some potential leads achieved and certainly a great deal of goodwill – thanks are due to NYP and Safer Ryedale teams.

The above reflects steady progress as regards volumes albeit still room for improvement.

Safer Ryedale Local Delivery Team
I continue to be a member of this Team and of the Ryedale Equalities Forum.

Eric Dunstone (Helmsley) and Evette Pickering (Pickering) are to attend with myself a Hate Crime and PREVENT Training session next month organised by the Equalities Forum at Ryedale House in Malton.

My thanks are due to all our Co-Coordinators and their Members for supporting the aims and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch which is greatly appreciated:  and also to Gail Cook of Safer Ryedale for all her support regarding our NHW activities both within Ryedale and across the County.

Tim Roy – Stokesley and villages area
NHW schemes are registered in Stokesley and in 19 of the surrounding villages/hamlets. Five other villages do not have schemes at the moment.

At the last meeting of the Hambleton North (Stokesley District) NHW Scheme held in Ingleby Greenhow Village Hall on 21st April 2015, Sergeant Hill shared the latest crime figures. The overall number of crimes had reduced in our area by 15% during the last 6 months compared to the same period a year previously.

There had been a 50% reduction in dwelling burglaries. This was a great result and was due to a team effort involving the Police, Community Safety Partnership, NHW Schemes and members of the communities phoning in reports of suspicious activities. Operation Bright was run again during the winter months. Police patrols identify those householders who leave their properties in total silent darkness when out for the evening (e.g. no vehicle on the drive, curtains drawn back, no lights or sound). A return visit is made giving crime prevention advice and a timer plug switch for a light is offered if the occupier does not have one. A timer and the light connected to it costs pence to run for a few hours an evening, compared to the  cost, inconvenience and distress of having to deal with a burglary. These timers were funded by the Community Safety Partnership and 200 have now been handed out. A bid for more timers will be submitted.

The Police are looking at purchasing domestic Smartwater forensic property marking kits to issue to victims of such burglaries as there is evidence to suggest that they are at greater risk of another burglary.

There had been a 56% reduction in thefts including cycles, shoplifting, and scrap metal, another very good result coming from a similar team effort including the successful Shopwatch scheme.

There had been small increases in Anti Social Behaviour incidents. However, solutions have moved on a long way from just a Police car patrolling a problem area and making little difference.

A multi-agency problem solving approach is adopted, including help from NYCC, housing organisations (e.g make the house more secure), the Community Safety Partnership (e.g temporarily install CCTV to monitor the street), the Police (targeted patrols) and schools (e.g. who are named persons associating with?). The local authorities and housing organisations have warning systems to put pressure on residents which the Police have never had.

North Yorkshire Police have set up investigation hubs for various types of crimes creating centres of excellence.

Inspector Dave Murray gave an informative talk about rural crime and the measures being taken to deal with offenders.  A Rural and Cross Border Crime Forum has been set up.

Operation Checkpoint is an intelligence led, multi-force, proactive response, set up to counter cross border travelling criminals, the ethos being that criminals do not recognise borders in their activities, so why should police be bound by designated force boundaries. There have been some good results with some big criminals taken out of circulation.

Great use is made of new technology such as mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras in addition to the fixed ANPRs. North Yorkshire Police has 65 deployable cameras that can be used to ring an area under surveillance.  Vale/County Watch patrols are held 2 to 3 times per month. They now have dedicated Police response teams to provide immediate support if anything suspicious is reported by the volunteers.

The next meeting of the Hambleton North (Stokesley District) NHW Scheme will be the AGM at 7.30pm on 7th October 2015, in Potto Village Hall.

Bill Wood – Hambleton South Report – August 2015

Liaison with the Police
A PCSO attended our last bi-monthly meeting and reported that crime was at a very low level in the District with Thirsk regarded as a “safe town”. The current problem in Easingwold is caused by children, some as young as 10 years. Dealing with the problem is time-consuming and Dispersal orders are being used alongside other actions. The very low number of RM messages was raised with the PCSO.

Easingwold Town & area schemes
Plans are being made to have NHW stall on a Friday market day next month. Having a Banner could be useful, if it isn’t too windy!

Easingwold village schemes
Nothing to report.

Thirsk Town & village schemes
Nothing to report.

HSNHWA AGM Monday 18th May
The speaker, DC Fiona Tetley, ably supported by Gavin Mayes, are members of NY Police Cyber Crime Unit.  The impressive presentation was listened to with rapt attention by an audience of some 40 people, which included members of the public.

8. Update – Engagement of Under-represented Groups – Dr Ramana Sundara 

Ed, Ramana and Sunny have had a telephone conference, identified that Ringmaster is not the right technology to use regarding this project.  We need to let the dust settle and push forward in the right direction.  We need to wait for Hampshire to see what comes out of their project and it is accepted that matters may be delayed due to the re-launch of National NHW.

Cllr Mike Jordan is assisting NYP with the Hate Crime week in Selby 2nd October 2015.

9. Trading Standards Report  

A large No Cold Calling Zone has been set up in Harrogate 2,500 houses.  This was identified due to a person being released from prison who usually targets this area.  His licence prohibited him from visiting in this area but it was agreed to continue due to the area being targeted by cold callers.    There had been a poor response for help to deliver the communications.

A Selby PCSO is the first to be seconded to Trading Standards for a 2 week period on 28th September 2015, other areas are Skipton, Hambleton and Stokesley.  This will entail a revolving programme.

Trading Standards has purchased some True Call devices to be utilised by vulnerable residents referred by community safety and safer neighbourhood teams.  Craven and Ryedale have purchased devices for their area.

Bank clerks are key to raising concerns regarding scams.  Three conferences will be held in due course to raise awareness of scams amongst the community.  Andy will be including the financial  sector, NHW, NYP and community safety in an attempt to make people more aware as often bank clerks are an important point of contact when criminals attempt to have cash withdrawn from banks etc.

10. LUNCH 

11. National NeW – Key considerations/actions for force associations/committees for 2015/16 (information circulated previously) 

The Committee discussed this at length and concluded that:- 

NY NHWA has very grave concerns indeed and thus does not support implementation of many of the various proposals being put forward by National NHW, fearing that very substantial numbers of Co-Coordinators will be lost (as well as Members) due to the need for registration formalities and the provision of information etc.    

As an Association that is mindful that our Chief Constable and P&CC have been invited to the December conference (and may even be addressing it) the Committee feels duty bound to make them both aware of its reservations to avoid embarrassment at the Conference. Sgt Ed Simpson is to take matters forward.  

Appendix A, comments were expressed as follows:

?  Member: Approved by the local Scheme Co-Coordinator – there was a challenge regarding the use of the word “approved” since Co-Coordinators may not have privileged information or knowledge to know who should NOT be approved.

?  Co-Coordinator:  Signpost members - ”signpost” was regarding as jargon and misleading, if not completely misunderstood by most

?  The Committee are at a loss to understand why, when such a major overhaul of the organisation is being undertaken, the actual name of Neighbourhood Watch was not seemingly being reviewed and indeed changed as concerns were raised that many – and in particular the younger generation – seem to perceive NHW as being “folks behind curtains, with nothing better to do than spy on folks” (sic) and thus this creates a stigma – suggestions put forward for alternative names were:

Neighbourhood Care
Help Stop Crime Now
Stay Safe
Community safeguarding


?  NY NHWA fully understands the rationale behind the proposals which are considered in many ways as being great in theory but impractical in other ways

?  NY NHWA recognises the need to expand the base of NHW to reach all age groups and sectors etc as evidenced by our current project

?  MUCH work is to be generated at grass roots level to be undertaken by people who are mostly volunteers – in their spare time that is already at a premium – AND many of our Co-Coordinators are entering the twilight of their lives and we know from experience they generally prefer to be left alone to quietly go about their business and do not like change, even if they are computer literate, which in many cases they are not

?  The timeline is seen as being too ambitious vis a vis volunteer resources willing to take on extra work

?   The registration process proposed is seen as being a major piece of work and a real threat to our current base of Co-Coordinators and Schemes which risk termination

?  NHW cannot afford to lose existing volunteers which we fear will walk when faced with the restructuring requirements being put forward

?  Already, within North Yorkshire, we are seeing several elderly Co-Coordinators either retiring or passing on, with nobody willing to replace them with the result that Schemes fail and we do not want to “rock the boat” even further so that more “hang up their boots” and Schemes terminate

?   The volunteers market is already unable to meet demand

?  NHW is constantly in competition with other agencies and organisation for volunteers NHW signs are not funded by National NHW

?   It was unanimously agreed that if an extreme decision was taken to “opt out of NHW” then within North Yorkshire the work would continue under a different umbrella to continue and progress the excellent work that is being undertaken at present in partnership and harmony with NYP, mindful that with Police Funding at risk of being reduced for our county, even more reliance may be placed upon NHW volunteers to support the Police plus funding would be required for new signs and window stickers.

?  Concerns were raised that Rural Watch was not formally included in the proposals as several of our Associations combined NHW and Rural Watch

ACTION: Sgt Ed Simpson to liaise with the NYP Legal department
  regarding the ownership and sharing of information from its    Ringmaster data base from which Ringmaster Messages     are generated to Co-coordinators (and other Watches).

ACTION:  Catherine to contact South Yorkshire NHW and West Y     Yorkshire NHW for their views on the proposals being put     forward by National NHW and Terry Wallis to make contact    with Humberside NHW

ACTION: Chair to liaise with Sgt Ed Simpson to send advise the Chief    Constable Dave Jones and P&CC Julia Mulligan of the stance    of NY NHWA.

ACTION: Catherine to liaise with John Hallows as regards the position    of Harrogate & District NHWA in the event of it considering to    opt out of National NHW

12. 2013/2016 NY NHWA Business Plan 

To be discussed at the next meeting in the light of the outcome of the forthcoming Conference in December.

13.     AOB 

Resignation of Tina Oates – Tina has now resigned from the NY NHW Committee due to personal circumstances.  All agreed that the association owes a huge debt of gratitude to the large amount of work that Tina did.  Her superb work has been key to our success not only in the establishment of NY NHW but also years of work as secretary.   We appreciate the circumstances that required her resignation and hope that her health and her husband’s health improves.    The Chair had already exchanged with Tina an e-mail expressing his personal appreciation and it was agreed that this should be followed up with a letter from the Committee via the Secretary.

ACTION: Secretary to send a thank you letter to Tina.

Agricultural Shows – Eric confirmed that the two local shows he attended in Ryedale were very useful, he recruited volunteers for NHW.  This is to be added to the next agenda with a view to expanding the idea county wide

Smart Water – Chairman to obtain a North Yorkshire Code, rather than for separate Districts

The Committee members unanimously agreed that they did not want to have anything to do with the sales or promotion of the PatLock product and no person was identified that was willing to become a point of contact.

All agreed that PatLock is a non-starter as regards NHW endorsing an unproven product which could prove to be a liability once its effectiveness had been breached by criminals.

The Way Ahead Conference
Terry and Gail will attend the National NHW networking event on Wednesday 2nd December and   conference on Thursday 3rd December in Birmingham.  The Chairman asked the committee if there was an objections to the Chair and Secretary being reimbursed for their hotel and expenses, this was agreed unanimously with Bill Wood suggesting a limit of £100 each in case of need.

14. Dates of Next Meetings