Minutes Committee Meeting 13.7.21

Attendees (by Zoom): Stan Jones (chairman), Geoff Pegg (Director of Operations), Gemma Brooks (Bucks Council), Ray Cox, Jennifer Swallow, Eric Hambling, and Ian Burrell (Treasurer).
Apologies: Shafait Ali, Caterina Dodero, Olga McBarnett, John Moore and Doug Meredith

Chairman’s Introduction:
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting especially our guest Gemma Brooks from Bucks Council.

Notes of the meeting of 18/5/21 were accepted as accurate.

Matters arising:
Castlefield Interactive Engagement – it is understood the Mosque leaders are now involved.

The effort to find more committee members should continue especially in areas of low representation and to plug gaps if people leave.                           SJ/GP

The production of a general NHW presentation we could all use remained on-going. Eric and Ray were considering compiling slides and suitable videos as a library that could be selected from for particular events. Probably end up as a memory stick for ease of use. EH/RC                                                            

Geoff and Ray have tried to contact Jade at Bucks New Uni, but no response. Try again when the Uni is back in the autumn.                                     GP

No further progress with A-Plan although Geoff described the difficulty they have knowing which sales to ascribe to us. He suggested an Alert for A-Plan products with a reference to use but has had no reply. It is difficult to assess our future relationship so Stan should contact the area manager for his view.    SJ

We need to formalise Shafait’s membership of the committee, so he was proposed by Geoff and seconded by Stan. He has been asked to supply a photo and write-up.

Operations Director’s Report:
GP had sent out his report to committee members ahead of the meeting.  

John Moore is moving out of the area so resigning from the committee. He has found a replacement for himself as a coordinator. Our thanks to him for his contribution over the past years.

The effort to get a presence at Waitrose, Handy Cross, needs to be picked up. We have bought 2000 recruitment leaflets that have a blank box for contact details. Individuals can sign up without there being a scheme, but the hope is one would build up subsequently. Ray suggested he could put them in his (8000) Hazlemere Fete mailing. It would need to be selective and focussing on Hazlemere Rose Avenue and Widmer End was suggested. GP/RC            

The meetings with Steve Bobbett are very positive and the next is on 5th Aug. The list of subjects we are discussing with him are in Geoff’s report. Operation Signature, to help victims of crime, is still a bit vague but we are keen to support.

We need more Alerts and the loss of the administrator will not help. It is suggested that Stan and others will look for appropriate twitter/Facebook police messages and send them to Geoff to put out as Alerts in our name.

Treasurer’s Report:  
Our Treasurer, Ian Burrell, had sent out the financial report.

Sales to date are £1,469 mainly from mailable products and the net surplus is £228. There have been little sales since May but they should improve over the next few months. The £6,000 reserves can be used to increase our operations, and suggestions are sought, but they must be in line with our remit.          All

Geoff confirmed we had enough supplies of products/leaflets to start having tables again.

Further Zoom Seminars
National have a number of seminars over the summer and various campaigns, so it was decided to have our next seminar in the autumn. Ray suggested we had a police representative at each seminar if possible.

Path to Normality
There is still enough uncertainty so will continue with these meetings via Zoom until further notice. People are also realising how much time they save not having to travel so much.

Geoff has two cons & scams talks coming up which he is happy to do face to face. Stan would also be prepared to man tables with masks & hand sanitiser. Geoff is considering a table outside Hazlemere Co-op and Castlefield Mosque but avoiding venues with crowds.

Local Reports:
Hazlemere: The chair of Hazlemere PC has approached Ray to join with them in consultation events, possibly with tables outside the Co-op. PC Russ Hawkins has suggested being involved in community meetings, and has been involved with schools and possibly scouts. It was generally agreed there was a lack of crime information and TVP website is out of date and the information too general.

Mosques: Waiting to restart the tables outside the mosques. Planning to have a police table alongside as part of their community involvement exercise, agreed by Shafait.

Hughenden: The NAG is poorly supported by the police and PC although it does a lot of work on speed and crime reduction, such as circulating PCSO warning of rogue traders. Its future is being considered.

Stokenchurch: Geoff had visited a retirement home which will be used to link with residents. 1000 recruitment leaflets will be distributed. The PC has recently installed speed indicating units.

Publicity & Website:
The website is being updated with some material from Stokenchurch. Caterina is still struggling with equipment limitations for expanding into other media. Still being pursued. CD                                                                             

Liaison Updates: 
TVP – Supt. Michael Loebenburg has been promoted to Chief Supt. so likely to move on and there will be a new link for NHW. We have had our positive meeting with Supt. Emma Burroughs on the SLA, but other LPAs are finding it more difficult.

National NHW – There are issues with V4 of the ourwatch website. NO want to get rid of area coordinators and make them MSAs. They also have a concept of lead coordinators but not deputies. This does not match up to our structure, that has area coordinators, looking after a group of coordinators in, say, a village. While it would be useful if area coordinators had MSA access to the website rather than possibly out-of-date paper lists, many do not want the bother of digital access or haven’t the facilities. The pressure for NO is to have a comprehensive, updated database with everyone properly mapped, but we are far from that.

Various initiatives are coming from NO such as the “sling your hook” for fraud. Stan attended a meeting with Kit Malthouse. He suggested we advertise our purpose as a supportive organisation and used media more, as a convenience for younger and rural people to engage. Regarding knife crime he thought our role was to support the police and explain why, for example, stop & search was essential to reduce it. He accepted the police were becoming more remote hence the increase in numbers. He supported a closer relationship between the police and NHW and wanted to ensure we were their “fan club” (his words – maybe sometimes “critical friend” – my words). Surprisingly he thought the police should be concerned about NHW succession. He realised how some areas were very dependent on one person and if they left it would leave a vacuum that would be detrimental to the police. We needed to be innovative and change with the times. He understood our frustration with 101 response times.

TVNHWA – The next committee meeting is this Saturday. There was concern over the TVNHWA Constitution, including a universal lack of understanding that it is a representative body of 12 LPAs each of which has a voting member who collectively control the association. The problem is the democratic election of that “Force Area Member”. Where there is an Association with an elected committee then the committee can democratically elect its FAM, as Wycombe LPA would. However, there are complications as Wycombe is split into two so both associations would have to agree on one FAM. Other LPAs are less clear how an FAM is to be democratically elected. A complaints policy is also being put together. Funding is also an issue as TVNHWA has had little income for the last two years but significant expenditure on road signs.

Expansion into poorly covered areas:
Micklefield remains a target area and we will try to keep in contact with the Imam of the mosque there.

Youth Involvement:
We will not be able to make progress until we can have face-to-face meetings with the Youth Council probably after the summer holiday.

Stan has a supply of most items but is very short of NHW roundels. There are 20,000 on order but no delivery date.

Ray raised the issue of defibrillators and the various sites where your nearest one can be found. Ray and Eric will put out an Alert to make sure our coordinators are informed.

Gemma said she would help us with publicity and had already promoted NHW week and Geoff’s radio interviews. She would work with Jennifer.

Jennifer pointed out that some coordinators aren’t responding to the mapping request. Jennifer will print a list of unmapped coordinators just before V4 implementation so we have a clear record of them and the committee will have to decide what to do.

Implementation of V4 depends on TVP and Stan will check when they think it will be implemented.

Next meetings: (Note the change in date of the September meeting) 7 Sept & 16 Nov.

Stan 2/8/21

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