Minutes of NHW meetings

I would like to say thank you again to everyone that attended the meeting yesterday. We always seek to publish the meeting minutes so that it remains fresh in everyone's mind and so that it can be distributed to other subscribers who were unable to attend.

Apologies were received from Margaret Clarke, Jim and Allison Russell and Denise O'Sullivan.

Paul Rickards opened the meeting welcoming everyone in attendance including representatives from the police; P.C. Paul Rimmell, PCSO Carl Barrington and PCSO Paul Blackford, Barry Toon from the Bournebrook Community Safety Project and Margaret Moynihan, Danielle John and Kate Williams from adjacent NHW schemes.

P.C. Paul Blackford was invited to outline the police re-zoning that took place effective from 6th April 2010 that means the operational responsibilities now follow voting ward boundaries. He and his colleagues also fielded several questions pertaining to sped cameras and anti-social behaviour on several bus routes.

Garry Sayers the stood up to remind those present of the need to report all incidents as these could be reviewed by the police as to the level of response they warranted which will not happen of course if this were not done. Police resourcing is tied heavily into the level of reported criminal behaviour including scams.

Paul Rickards then went onto mention the importance of notifying subscribers of the extent and frequency of incidents that have taken place in our street. These serve as a reminder to be wary, particularly of distraction and walk-in burglaries which rise in number during the summer months unfortunately.

Garry Sayers then reminded everyone about the availability of the Guild of Students warden scheme that would intervene in issues arising out of the behaviour of its fraternity living in our street and others around the Birmingham University campus. Peer pressure does work and Danielle John reaffirmed this was their experience too.

Paul Rickards outlined the importance of the Community Speedwatch albeit this was addressed directly in the police portion of the agenda earlier on. The actual camera used by Garry and myself in the past has actually got to be traced before any future sessions can be held and we would be very grateful of subscriber volunteers.

Garry Sayers then pointed out the recent change to the A&E services that transferred from the Selly Oak site onto the Queen Elizabeth one with effect from 16th June 2010. This was reported in the regional media and now issues arose. Mention of the half-marathon taking place on 24th October 2010 was mentioned too.

Paul Rickards raised the issue of considerate car parking by residents and visitors alike. There were regular instances where drivers parked vehicles in such a way that they used more space than necessary and therefore prevented others from parking their vehicles. Police may intervene where traffic laws are violated.

Garry Sayers then took the matter of advancement - the illegal placing of bin bags, recycling bins or rubbish outside a property for collection before 6.00pm of the night before collection - Tuesday in our street. There is a maximum £1,000 fine for this that the Environmental Health department can invoke as punishment.

Paul Rickards then went on to mention the importance of the NHW as a facilitator of information exchange between the police and the street residents. There was a general acceptance that we all need to be more vigilant and act on our suspicions as this may well deter opportunist criminals from targeting householders.

Garry Sayers then touched on the need to display NHW stickers prominently in the front rather than side portion of the front bay window of each subscriber household. This reaffirms the strength of numbers and does offer some protection against opportunist thieves. Some insurance companies may offer a household premium discount.

Danielle John with support from Kate Williams then gave a short talk on their experiences of the setting up of an MHW scheme along Langleys Road and Oak Tree Lane in Selly Oak. They had experienced similar issues with students abut adopted a household to be more welcoming as they also try to befriend the more vulnerable residents.

Paul Rickards then began to draw the meeting to a conclusion by mentioning the need for NHW volunteers of which we have three at present who help in the delivery of police warning massages to houses not with e-mail. Garry Sayers reminded everyone that the yearly subscriptions become due on the 1st July 2010.

There was no significant other business.

The meeting closed.