Neighbourhood Watch Cardiff
By Bill Farnham
Since my last article we have been very busy with Neighbourhood Watch.
On the 8th September, I manned the Neighbourhood Watch trailer (which we hired from the Vale of Glamorgan Neighbourhood Watch Association) at the South Wales Police Open Day. The event took place at Cardiff Castle which went very well indeed, with many people calling in and having a chat about Neighbourhood Watch and many other subjects. Quite a successful day all told. It has been very busy on the “New Watch” front too, with three being set up in the Insole Court Area – Llandaff, one in Ffordd Morganwg, Whitchurch and two others in different parts of the city. Our General Meeting on 18th September in Lisvane went very well with an excellent talk and presentation on “Policing in the 21st Century” by Sgt Louise Lucas, Station Sergeant for Llanishen. We had been invited to take Neighbourhood Watch into Lisvane and we did this as part of our taking our General Meetings ‘on the road’.
I attended a meeting of the All Wales Neighbourhood Watch Group in Llandrindod Wells on the 2nd October, and as a result of this meeting we will now be working more closely with the Gwent Association. On the 5th October, I attended an Operation Perception in Danescourt and helped man the Mobile Police Station. We spoke to many residents about Neighbourhood Watch and other subjects so hopefully we could get some new watches in that area. On the 8th October, I manned our stand at the ‘Cheese and Crime’ evening which was held at the Western Leisure Centre, Ely. As a result of this, I have been asked to attend a meeting in Michaelston on the 2nd December to help set up possibly several watches in that area.
National Personal Safety Day was held on 14th October this year. This is an annual event organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust which was set up by the family of Suzy Lamplugh. Suzy failed to return from a meeting with a supposed client who stated that he was interested in a property that was on the books of the Estate Agent she worked for. The purpose of the Personal Safety Day is to make people aware of the dangers out there in the world today and to keep themselves safe. I contacted the Trust and asked if we could be involved and on being told that they would love to have us on board, put it to our Management Committee who gave their full backing. Once I had received the posters and leaflets I had requested I visited 15 High Schools (including in this area Glantaf, Whitchurch Upper and Lower and Bishop of Llandaff) as well as the Students Union, Park Place, Cardiff Metroploitan and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I informed them of the event and left posters and leaflets with them. I was able to visit as many locations as I did as I am retired and had the time to do this.
On the day itself, the 14th, I had already received permission to use the Mobile Police Station which was in Senngenhydd Road, Cathays, as my base and with the help of a PC and two PCSO’s, we made contact with between 750 and 800 students from Cardiff University advising them on personal safety and security of their mobile phones, lap tops etc – a good morning’s work.
As a result of my visiting the High Schools earlier I was invited to address the assembly at Cantonian High School and talk about safety and security. This took place on the mornings of Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th October, addressing firstly years 7/8 and 9 and then years 10 and 11. It was quite an experience and was very rewarding for me as I was able to bond with the pupils who were very attentive indeed. The school had decided to have a ‘Personal Safety’ theme for the whole week so I was very honoured indeed to have been asked to participate. Two of the members of our Management Committee also visited two other schools and left posters and leaflets.
On 31st October I was interviewed on Radio Cardiff about Neighbourhood Watch so I was able to promote it ‘over the air’. I think it went well as I have been asked to go back in the spring next year so I will spread the word again.
Our next big event is ‘Operation Christmas Spirit’ which is on 11th December and again we will be using a Mobile Police Station as our base, this time in Queen Street between 09.15am and 12.15pm and will be advising members of the public about security marking of their valuables and handing out UV Marker Pens among other things. If you are in Queen Street on the morning please call in and have a chat.
Neighbourhood Watch is growing at quite a pace now so if any of you are interested in setting up a watch in your area please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or call our office on 02920 527301 and if I am in the office I will speak to you direct or, if not, please leave your contact details and I will get back to you.
South Wales Neighbourhood Watch Association Cardiff