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Neighbourhood Watch Annual Meeting Minutes

5 April 2018

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WEDNESDAY 21 March 2018 at 7.15pm

St. Benedict’s Church of England Church Hall, Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft

Brian Sivyer opened the meeting with references to the safety exits. He then welcomed Mr Len Jacklin to the meeting.

Mr Jacklin is an Independent member of the Suffolk County Police and Crime Panel and his talk was about the role of that panel. The role is to oversee and make accountable, the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner (Tim Passmore). The members of the Panel represent all political parties although they work on a non-partisan basis. All meetings are open to the general public. Recent themes of discussion have been the problems relating to the rise and use of drugs, a growth in gang culture from outside the county, serious sexual offences, knife crimes, “hidden” crimes such as cybercrimes and the problems arising from having a very long and not easily defended coast line. The reaction of the Police towards victim of crime was also discussed. He stressed the financial problems of lack of funding, low reserves and budget constraints. Mr Jacklin mentioned that Ipswich Football Club is no longer pay for the policing at football matches in public areas and this has now had to be paid out of an increasingly “small pot”.  The PCC had asked central government for an increase in finances but has been refused despite inequalities between counties in the funding arrangement and he had been forced to implement an increase in tax rates towards this offset the shortfall.

Mr Jacklin was questioned on the problems arising from using 101 phone calls, He replied that the computer systems may be online shortly, and this would hopefully improve transfer of calls.

The role of PCSO’s and the lack of them has been felt across the community and all regretted the cut off time at 6pm when they were no longer working. This is entirely due to finances but at least Suffolk still has a PCSO force. There was discussion regarding lack of communication between the Police and the general public, but it was pointed out that there were fewer officers dealing with an increase in work – including “hidden” crimes which the general public are not necessarily aware of but require a lot of backroom work. The CCTV system in Lowestoft is old and in serious need of an upgrade. There was an announcement of improvement for Lowestoft but if these were not forthcoming the cameras will not be renewed.

B.S. thanked Mr Jacklin for his interesting talk and for his time.

 B.S. then opened the AGM at 8.10pm

Present: Committee and 15 members

1. Apologies for absence: -  Five apologies have been received.

2. Minutes of the 2017 AGM: - These had previously been circulated.

3. Matters arising: - There were no matters arising that would not be addressed by the Chairman’s report

4. Chairman’s report: - See attached.

5.Treasurer’s report. See attached. However, the major increase in income was a donation from Mr Peter Aldus MP of £250 and £50 from Oulton Parish Council. The sale of 600 credit card protection sleeves also generated considerable income as had talks given by the Chairman.

6. Election of officers: - B.S stressed that more help was necessary from members as the very small number on the committee could not shoulder all the tasks needing to be done. If there was not an increase in volunteers by the AGM in 2019 then sadly the Committee had decided that it would be necessary to put forward a motion of closure to be considered.

Brian Sivyer was nominated to continue as Chairman, Gillian Levell, as Treasurer. Angela Risebro was welcomed as the new Secretary. The members continue to be represented by Chris Songer and Davis Waller. There are still two vacancies.

7. AOB: No items were brought up.



 As more orders have been taken for Credit card protection sleeves a further 100 will be ordered and sold as before at 50p per card.

B.S. mentioned a scheme run by the Red Cross whereby trained officers visit groups of between 8 and 25 people free of charge to discuss first aid in every- day situations. As an example, they discussed falls, cuts, non- breathing accidents, broken bones, stroke symptoms and heart attacks. None of the incidents required specialist knowledge but common sense and how to call for professional assistance.  By the end of the 90-minute session everyone felt confident they could use their common sense to assist in a problem. B.S. asked whether any members present would be interested in taking part in a similar session. The majority were in favour and B.S. would take it up with the Red Cross to arrange a date in the future. He would also circulate details to members should they wish to set up their own group sessions.

The meeting closed at 9.05pm.

Diane Sivyer

Co-opted Minutes secretary

24 March 2018