Crime-fighters in good shape to protect homes

CRIME-FIGHTING volunteers have put their Bognor Regis group in good shape.

The hundreds of members of the town’s Neighbourhood Watch association have swapped ideas about its work. The co-ordinators of the 260 schemes – covering a possible 6,500 properties – which comprise the group, met recently for a workshop before its 
annual meeting.

Association secretary John Holman said: “Split into mixed groups supported by a team of advisers, they were encouraged by a professional facilitator, Garry Page, to share their comments on the association’s strengths, challenges, opportunities, risks and expectations.

“They all got involved with gusto and sheets around the room were soon filled with positive feedback.

“They then compared their thoughts with others and identified what they would start doing, keep doing, stop doing and do differently.

“Everyone left the meeting fired with enthusiasm for Neighbourhood Watch in Bognor.”

Mr Holman told the annual meeting the organisation was still going strong around the town.

“Many new co-ordinators have come forward during the year, mostly to replace retiring members, with a few brand-new schemes,” he said.

This ensured there was a full complement of area co-ordinators to support all the schemes.

Mr Holman was re-elected as secretary at the meeting. Barbara Piedot was also voted back in 
as treasurer.

But there were no nominations for the prestigious position of chairman after the previous chairman stepped down during the past year.

This means the role remains vacant. Certificates of thanks were presented to retiring area co-ordinators Philip Lee, Ken Whitfield and Arthur Guppy.

During the evening, police community support officers from the town were presented with certificates of appreciation for their exceptional commitment to Neighbourhood Watch.

These officers were Michelle Davies (public engagement officer), Bill Prior (Pagham and Aldwick West), Julie Jones (Orchard) and Clive Morge (Felpham and Middleton).

John Wright, chairman of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, made the presentations.

Other guests, who comprised the team of advisers, were Derek Pratt and Robin Hargreaves from the federation, PC Christian Thomas and Jenny McMann from Arun District Council’s anti-social behaviour team and Chris Downton, the county principal trading standards officer.

Sussex Police’s neighbourhood policing team inpector for Arun, Marc Clothier, was also present.

The Neighbourhood Watch Association hopes to repeat the success of its stand for public relations and recruitment at last year’s Hotham Park Country Fair when the latest event takes place on August 2 and 3.