On the 28 January, residents from Calverley were invited to the first meeting of “Calverley Watch”, writes Gael Timbers.
The meeting was intended as an information session for residents on local sources of advice and assistance for personal and home safety.
Before Christmas two people, by sheer coincidence, had the same idea to help people to feel safer in their homes, provide useful information to the community and where possible offer support.
Calverley Watch Facebook Group page (which now has nearly 1,000 members) was set up by local resident Lee Graham and is an online space for people to report suspicious events or people (after people have phoned 999, if there is an emergency, or 101 if the circumstance is a non-emergency or for information only).
The meeting was organized by Creative Calverley to provide information to the local community, especially those who do not have access to social media/the internet.
Speakers including the local PCSOs (Poole and Graham), Area representative for Neighbourhood Watch Maureen Brewer, local resident John Gibbons (who set up a local neighbourhood watch scheme on his street) and local businessman Ben Higo (who runs local AEGIS Martial Arts and Leadership Academy). Local councillors Amanda Carter, Rod Wood and Andrew Carter, were also present at the meeting.
People who attended the session were able to provide feedback as to areas of concern for them in the village. The PCSO’s provided useful responses on how the information received by the residents from the Facebook site were already proving successful.
Crime so far in 2016 is down in the village.
Information packs were available to take away at the meeting as well as some useful resources such as timer switches, key holders and purse holders.
Paper-based copies of the information available at the meeting and the Calverley Watch website page will be placed in Calverley Library.
Further meetings will be arranged to provide people with the opportunity to obtain information and targeted towards specific areas of concern e.g. drug awareness, carers of those with dementia.
It is hoped that similar initiatives will be replicated in other local areas.