20TH APRIL 2021.
- The Chairman welcomed Supt. Emma Burroughs, TVP; Pei-Ling Harper, Trading Standards; Gemma Brooks, Bucks Council and Brian Hill, Risborough NHW.
- Attendees: Committee Members – Jennifer Swallow, Caterina Dodero, Geoff Pegg, Ian Burrell, John Moore, Ray Cox, Eric Hambling and Stan Jones plus others totalling 24 people.
- Apologies for absence: Val McPherson, David Gresswell, Robert Frost and Bill Potts.
As you know because of the pandemic we had to cancel our last AGM so this virtual meeting will effectively cover two years.
It has been difficult to continue our normal operations such as having tables outside shops, at events or outside mosques, but we have continued having virtual meetings, developing alternative communication methods such as Facebook and Instagram. Also, NHW members have been very active supporting their vulnerable neighbours through the difficulties, doing shopping and so on.
The types of crimes we face have also changed because of the pandemic, with burglaries generally down as more people are at home. However, cons and scams are relentless, at the door, by telephone, mail and e-mail. The fraudsters invent new schemes daily and are becoming more realistic and less easy to detect. Much advice is available such as on our website, Trading Standards and others. There are stickers to tell people you do not buy at the door or to put on your phone or laptop to remind you to take care. In brief, have nothing to do with anything you don’t recognise, no matter how attractive it appears.
Drug dealing is also a crime that does not go away, either in towns or the countryside. There are some specialised crimes that are on the ascendency such as stealing cars off drives or stealing the very valuable catalytic converters, but there are steps you can take to minimise the risk of you being the next target.
Always report any suspicious activity to the police, all of which builds up a picture of potential crime. Do not expect a response to every report, but don’t take that as a lack of interest and keep reporting.
The main aim of NHW is to let you feel safe in your neighbourhood and in your home.
Minutes of the last AGM: Accepted with no comments.
- The report of the work done by the Association during 2019 & 2020 is posted on the website. Geoff Pegg, Operations Director, highlighted some items. He was looking forward to open meetings and resuming tables outside shops. We are working with mosque leaders to engage with the Muslim population. Several meetings have been held with the police commander, Ch. Insp. Gallan Shaladan and Insp. Steve Bobbett, with a view to working closely together. It has been difficult to start new schemes in the lockdown but several are pending.
- The audited accounts for the year ended 31st December 2020 are on the website. The Treasurer, Ian Burrell, said that the finances remain healthy. Answering a question Geoff Pegg clarified how we generate funds by selling competitive security products. During the lockdown this has been restricted to mailable ones. A list of products is on the website.
- Voting results: Details are on the website. Total voting was 27.
Appointment of an auditor – 26 for
Election of members of the committee of the Association – 26 for
Election of officers of the Association – 25 for
The Amendment to the Constitution of the Association regarding its geographical area of coverage and the approval thereof – 26 for
- Any other business :
Ray Cox mentioned the successful Zoom seminar we held previously and invited everyone to the next one in June (National NHW Week).
Jennifer Swallow raised the preference for coordinators to be mapped on the Ourwatch system when it is upgraded in a few months time and offered to help those who needed it.
Following the conclusion of the official business of the Annual General Meeting the chairman closed the meeting.
He then welcomed again our invited speaker: Superintendent Emma Burroughs, Commander of the Wycombe Local Police Area.
Emma explained she had started her career in Wycombe and was delighted to be back in an area she was very familiar with. She was keen to work in partnership with NHW. She mentioned the reduction in crime numbers and her focus on Fraud and Rural crime. She also mentioned those crimes increasing at present such as catalytic converter and dog theft. Emma went on to describe the challenging call on police resources to manage Covid, using the four E’s (Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforcement).
Emma then reinforced the need for everyone to report suspicious activities, even if there was no direct feedback from the police as all information goes into the databank to build a picture of potential crimes. It also helps them obtain warrants as magistrates sometimes require corroboration from more than one source.
Wycombe will get a share of the 20,000 new officers nationally and with the vaccines and testing the present sickness rate is low.
Questions: These were mainly concerning the various cons and scams (fraud) that are prevalent at the moment.
Pei-Ling from Trading Standards pointed out the equipment they had available to improve the security of vulnerable people. Emma agreed that working together TVP, TS and NHW could increase their individual impact.
The Chairman thanked Emma for her very interesting contribution, everyone for attending and closed the meeting.