We all already know what Neighbourhood Watch is about don't we? Okay, who said 'curtain twitchers' ?
If you have read the Gander over the past ten years then hopefully you should appreciate that GNeW tries to be rather more than that. But as recent articles have been a bit sparse and quite a lot of new families have moved to the village, maybe this is a good time to re-introduce ourselves. Who knows, even those who remember GNeW being set up might appreciate the reminder?
This page aims to tell you what you might wish to know about Goxhill Neighbourhood Watch.
The aims in our constitution are simple:
• Keep Goxhill village a pleasant place to live in.
• Help foster a community spirit where neighbours take an interest in each other's welfare.
• Make a positive contribution to the security and safety of all residents and property.
So how do we do that?
The short answer is 'any way we can'. We try to promote effective communication with the police. We stay in touch through the umbrella NW associations with what is happening on Humberside and nationally. If we see or hear of an idea, scheme or equipment that looks useful then we try it out.We loan security equipment, offer domestic security advice, help with property marking, and can buy security equipment in bulk to obtain discounts.
Who are we?
We are all of you. Some people do extra tasks to help GNeW along but, in essence, it works if you want it to.
The Loan Ranger
There are quite a few gadgets on the market these days designed to protect you, your home and its contents. Maybe you have seen some and wondered whether they were any good? Possibly it did not seem worth investing the money in something that you would only use for a fortnight once a year when you went on holiday?
GNeW thought the same and so we have equipment available for you to borrow. Whether it is to try an item out before buying one of your own or to cover the period when you are on holiday, they are there to be used. We require a deposit but make no hire charge. Maximum loan period is 4 weeks though we can make exceptions (e.g. hospitalization of someone living alone). Contact us to arrange to borrow any item. If what you want is not listed, tell us and we might just buy one.
• Motion detectors (x1)
• Random active lamps (x3)
• Sound active lamps (x3)
• Dusk-to-Dawn lamps (x1)
• 24 hour timer socket s (x4)
• 7 day timer sockets (x1)
• Personal alarms (x3)
• Shed/door alarms (x3)
What else does GNeW offer?
Over the past few years GNeW has done its best to offer as wide a range of services for people in the village as possible. Although we have over the years tried to publicise these through our Local Co-ordinators, occasional bulletins, and articles in the Gander, you may not know about them all. So, in an attempt to rectify that, here is a brief summary of what is on offer.
We support this national scheme which is aimed especially at single parents, people who live alone or those dependent on medication. It is a simple information pack kept in your fridge for the emergency services to access. The packs consist of various adhesive labels and a plastic container (as used for photography film). They are free to anyone and we have given out the stock that we had. But just ask if you would like one for your household, or even a friend or relative, and we will do our best to obtain a further supply.
Marking property helps keep it in YOUR hands.SmartWater is the state of the art for property marking these days. It has been described as DNA code in a bottle of nail varnish-though I expect its inventors might feel a little insulted by that. A bottle is uniquely registered to you and all you do is paint it on to your property. It is invisible except under strong ultra violet light and virtually impossible to remove. It takes us a big step forward from where we were a few years ago: marking up items with our postcode and house name/number using a marker pen or engraver. Nevertheless, if you want to visibly and permanently mark bikes, mowers, tools, etc then you can borrow GNeW's engraver for a week or so at a time.
Some things are worth more than just their cost. There are various schemes run by the Police and NNWA for registering antiques, heirlooms, or unusual items. We can let you know about them.
We can help you decide how best to secure your home against criminals. If you want the DIY route then we have booklets to borrow and a wide range of crime prevention leaflets that you can keep and read at your leisure. We have the Crime Reduction College's Domestic Surveying interactive training package on CD. Even if your Local Co-ordinator has not used it yet, another will probably be happy to survey your house and provide advice.
Like umbrellas in Summer, GNeW tends to be forgotten when crime is low. But even if you forget GNeW please do not ignore what we stand for.
Prevention and removing temptation are essential aspects of fighting crime and as relevant when times are good as when times are bad. Put GNeW on the back burner by all means but let's not turn out the flame.
Distraction burglary targets older people in particular. A bogus caller distracts a home occupier whilst an accomplice steals property. The average age of victims is 78 with over three quarters being female. They are targeted because of their trust and respect for authority, regular habits, tendency to keep valuables at home and physical inability to fight back or flee.
To prevent it, follow the DOORSTEP CODE:
observe callers first through a window or door viewer
open the door with a chain fitted
switch on lights if it is dark so you can see the caller
refuse entry to anyone you are doubtful about
examine identity cards thoroughly - most genuine callers carry one
telephone their office to check - genuine callers won't mind waiting
think thief - do not let strangers into your home
if unsure about a caller contact a neighbour or the police
If in doubt - keep them out!
If you see someone behaving suspiciously try to retain a clear picture of them in your mind. The following are the important details (in priority order) that will be most helpful if you later need to describe them to the Police.
Registration number ~ Car/Van/Lorry/etc ~ Make/model ~ Colour ~ Body type (saloon/estate) ~ Direction of travel ~ Number of occupants ~ Distinctive details (damage, name/logo, roof rack, etc).
Remember that information usually loses both value and reliability with time. Contact the police as soon as possible after the event.
RING 999 IN AN EMERGENCY
That is the advice given by the police so that they can attend to the really important things without delay. But what constitutes an Emergency? It's common sense really:
Life at risk * Crime in progress * Public disorder * Violence used or threatened * Serious danger or fear
For anything else telephone: 0845†6060†222
Having said that, make sure that you DO take the trouble to report ALL criminal activity or anything suspicious as soon as you spot it. The police want to know about any crime, however trivial it may seem to you. Tomorrow is too late if there is a chance that the criminal is still in the area. They might be damaging or breaking into someone else's property while you delay!
WHAT'S A LOCAL CO-ORDINATOR?
Once upon a time ÖÖ.Ö GNeW had many Local Co-ordinators. Each person had typically volunteered to be responsible for between 15 and 30 houses in the streets near them. At one time, that meant three dozen people covering over 600 homes.
Wit that team when our Area Co-ordinator received information from HANWaG or Humberside Police it could be rapidly cascaded via those Local Co-ordinators to virtually every house in the village. We met regularly every three months, with extra meetings if crime or other circumstances dictated. We discussed any known problems - inviting along one of our local Police Constables when they were available - and considered suggestions for events and ways to help fight crime or the fear of crime.
Over the years the number of local co-ordinators has dwindled. On the positive side that was as we resolved some of the crime issues that drove individuals to become involved. On the other side of the coin were the 3†D's: deaths, departures from the village and disillusionment. Despite numerous requests over the years in the Gander new volunteers have not been forthcoming.
Now that we have only a handful of Local Co-ordinators, the old cascading method of communication is not really practical. Hopefully our website at http://beehive.thisisscunthorpe.co.uk/GNeW-Goxhill will provide a useful alternative. Any new ideas or suggestions are always welcome so please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
As required for all groups affiliated to HANWaG, we hold an Annual General Meeting, usually in the Parish Rooms on Howe Lane. The date and time are publicized via the Parish Council's notice boards. It is a public meeting and anyone resident in Goxhill is welcome to attend to listen, speak or even volunteer to become more involved.
If you have information
about a crime, but wish to remain anonymous, ring CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111