We, in the Cardiff West Neighbourhood Watch Association have been very busy again since the last issue. I was invited to represent our Association at the Lord Mayors St David’s Day Civic Service at St John’s Parish Church, City Centre on 1st March, 2016 which was quite an honour. It was a very moving experience as there were quite a few Second World War veterans in attendance and I found chatting to them was absolutely amazing. I know that I did ‘my bit’ in the armed forces from 1951 till 1954 but their experiences were something else.
In my new role as a member of the steering group for the Compact between the South Wales Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and the Third Sector, I attended the first Task Group meeting at Neath Police Station on 9th March, 2016. Two different aspects of partnership were covered namely – mapping of partnership structures eg forums, formal groups and partnership boards set up with a specific purpose in mind etc; and The Way Forward in which we will look at various police and crime reduction plans and then link this to the mapping exercise and undertake actions from there. Our next meeting is on 13th May, 2016 at the Brideswell Police Station, Bridgend.
In my role as New Watch Launch Coordinator, I have successfully relaunched the Llandaff Chase, Llandaff, Neighbourhood Watch group. This watch was in decline owing to the health of the former Coordinator taking a turn for the worse and, fortunately, a neighbour was willing to be the new Coordinator so the re launch only took around ten days to complete.
I am still trying to set up a new watch in the Loudoun Square area of Butetown and have held two meetings with the Muslim Community there and, although the interest is there, I have yet to get someone to act as the Coordinator. They wish a third meeting to take place so, at that meeting, I am determined that we will finally set up the watch.
The 30th March, 2016 was a very busy day for me as, unfortunately, none of our committee were available on that day. First thing in the morning, I worked in our office in Llanishen Police Station carrying out various duties re Neighbourhood Watch and collecting two bags full of literature for the rest of the day. I then left our office to attend the Ely Hub Spring Community Fun Day. This was a very well attended event and I worked closely with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team who were dealing with security registering of mobile phones, I-Pads, Tablets etc. I also distributed quite a lot of the literature that I had brought with me and spoke to, helped and advised many visitors to the event which was very enjoyable. I then had to leave the event and travel to the Principality Stadium for the 4.45 pm South Wales Police briefing prior to the kick off of the Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup at 6.00 pm.
This year the final was between a Somaliland XI and the SWP Select XI who included in their team Derek Brazil (Man Utd/Cardiff City), Lee Jarman (Cardiff City), Tom Ramasut (Cardiff City) and Lee Trundle (Swansea City). The match itself was quite an exciting affair with the Somaliland XI winning 6-2. As for our display table, I was rushed off my feet with the number of people wanting to have a chat about various topics and, again, quite a lot of the literature was distributed and more people helped and advised. I got home at 8pm and, although it was a long day, it was very well worth it.
We have submitted a coloured slide promoting Neighbourhood Watch to NHS Wales for them to display on the TV screens that are now appearing in GP and Dentists Surgeries in Cardiff West and Cardiff South West so keep a look out for them if you have to visit either your GP or Dentist.
National Neighbourhood Watch Week this year is from 18th June until 26th June and we are working hard to finalise our programme for this event. We shall be holding events throughout Cardiff West, Cardiff South West and City and South areas, all of which will be advertised either via the SWP Community Messaging Service, our Mail Chimp Service or the South Wales Echo.
I have now established very strong links with Age Cymru and also Telecare which was formerly Cardiff County Council Alarm Service. Both of these groups have expressed a wish to work with us on our display tables at future events so I look forward to that.
We had a very positive response to the online survey that Cardiff County Council sent out towards the end of last year which was mainly concerning their services but which included four questions relating to Neighbourhood Watch. We are working our way through these responses and, hopefully, we will have more new watches set up throughout our area in the near future.
If you are interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch group in your road, please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or call our office on 02920 527301.
Bill Farnham MBE
Chairman of Cardiff West Neighbourhood Watch Association