Thursday evening 28th November 2013 was the date for the quarterly Radcliffe-on-Trent Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators’ and members’ meeting. This was held at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Main Road, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham. David Griffin, the Chairman and Area Co-ordinator, was absolutely delighted that not only did some 65 members attend but also that his special guest speaker was The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police Chris Eyre.
The Chief Constable started his talk by saying that to fulfil his main objectives he needs to work with other partners to deliver the best service possible. He wants the best officers, the best communities and the finest Police Force in the country. He said he wants to work with agencies and other police forces to reduce crime and make communities safer. Chris went on to say that he wants to re-design the service by working closely with other partners such as The Crime Agency and The Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner. His main aim was to re-organise and transform the organisation within the constraints of the current budget cuts, whilst still maintaining an efficient and effective service. There has been a 20% cut in the budget and in 2014 there maybe a reduction of £4,000,000 and in 2015 there will be a reduction of £12,000,000. In 2020, the budget could be half of what it is now.
Chris said that he wants to strengthen and re-engineer Neighbourhood Policing whilst maintaining resources for serious risks, for example, hidden crimes such as child and domestic abuse and life-style criminals who engage in drugs, the trafficking of human beings and guns. In 2003, there were 50 shootings in one year.
He was pleased to see the two local Police Cadets who were present at the meeting. They may not necessarily want to enter the Police Force but are learning good citizenship by working closely with the community. It is hoped that by engaging the younger generation in our communities we will all remain safer now and into the future.
In closing, Chris said Neighbourhood Watch builds communities and the sharing of information between them and the police was of the greatest value. He thanked Neighbourhood Watch for their continuing support and David thanked him for his inspirational talk and his vision for the future. The floor was then opened to questions which Chris gladly participated in.
Towards the end of the meeting, a talk and presentation was also given by Karen Carter of Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance. The organisation has running costs of over £1,500,000 per year which is provided by public donations. There is no Lottery or Government funding for this charity. The helicopter flies an average of four times a day, every day and covers 3,000 square miles to attend emergencies. The Charity has just acquired new technology which allows the team to fly at night up to 7.00 pm. Our group gave a donation to Karen and members had the opportunity to purchase merchandise and also make personal donations to this very worth while cause. David thanked Karen for her interesting talk and presentation and she very kindly then went on to answer questions from the members.