Meeting with Council and Police 16th February 2017 at 7.00 pm at Civic hall, Castle Hill Avenue
We have now established a constitution and appointed trustees of Shepway N/Watch registered charity and recently we took over the bank account, which has given us access to public funds, already available, to pay for publishing costs etc, plus costs towards our website, which has already been published-shepwayneighbourhoodwatch.org.uk
After we were given official status, I was allowed access to the Police database for all the coordinators in Shepway, given to me by Alex Harrington, who has gone back to work part time at the Kent Police HQ in Folkestone, until the new liaison officer ex Detective Inspector Andrew Judd, takes over in December.
There were 178 coordinators on the list and I’ve emailed all of them 3 times, requesting confirmation which ones are still active and which ones no longer wish to be involved. So far, I’ve only had 17 replies from those who no longer wish to be involved and 40 still active. Which leaves 121 who haven’t replied one way or the other.
As a final attempt to inject some interest into this project, I have arranged a meeting with the Town Council, with the aid of Shaun Taylor, to be held at the Civic Centre in Castle Hill Avenue, on 16th February 2017 at 7.00, with representatives from the Police, PCSO’s,Community Wardens and representatives from the Community Safety Unit, along with any Shepway N/Watch coordinators who care to attend.
Copy of email received 3rd October 2016.
CALLINGDear PC John Weller
Last night I received the email below from a member of my small Neighbourhood Watch group about what happened in his shop yesterday afternoon. The situation in this street is now critical and beyond anything I can do as a Co-ordinator of the newly formed Shepway NhW Group. I am now very worried for the safety of all traders in our street, most of whom are on their own in their shops, so at risk.
This Summer, we have had such an increase in ASB, vandalism, the homeless camping out on doorsteps that we desperately need some sort of Police Patrol down here, particularly at weekends. I have already said that I worked closely with Nick Adams for the two years before he died and he was well aware of the problems in this area. He used to visit frequently, often late at night and just walk about. We have no KCC Warden now and I hear that PC Kate Broadbridge has been transferred to another department. Kate was extremely helpful to me as well.
The other problem is that it is not only traders who bear the brunt of this behaviour but passersby, school children, visitors who must wonder what is going on in our street.
I hear that Police numbers have been cut again and also that the CCTV down here seems not to be used. There is a camera in the now closed Vegas Shop right opposite where the incident took place but unfortunately I don’t think this is connected any longer. The pictures from this camera have been very clear in the past.
Daniel’s shop, Atelier Feralchild, is very vulnerable as it is the first shop open at the bottom of The Old High Street and nearest to all the pubs and has a door straight onto the street, after the scaffolding. Daniel and Helga are a wonderful addition to the Creative Quarter, warm friendly people and should be allowed to run their business in peace without feeling threatened.
Please could you confer with all your colleagues. Daniel is happy for you to pass on his email to anyone I may have missed out. I understand PC Chris Stevens of the CSU Department is aware of our issues but wasn’t sure of his email address. I am certain Daniel would also be grateful of a visit from a PCSO so he can tell them directly about his problems.
FROM KATE BROADBRIDGE :” I have passed your email onto PC Chris Stephens who has been given the role to manage a safeguarding strategy around the issues in the area to work with the multi agencies. Chris works within the Community Safety Unit department. ”
HERE IS DANIEL’S VERY DISTRESSING EMAIL:
“Huuhhh, another truly horrible experience in the Old High Street, this time I had a drunk man (30 ish) stumble in my shop after i’d heard him abusing people further up the street, stared at me for a few minutes and then after a difficult ten minute conversation where I tried to get him down from his distressed and angry mood, he decided to piss himself and then walk down the road to piss in a corner. All the while I was painfully aware that asking him to leave or any confrontational words from me were not going to end well for me, he returned and started hurling violent threats and abuse at me as I left the shop to smoke (trying to draw him out of my shop). Utter confusion and nonsense, asking why I was talking to him, how dare I even look at him or talk to a man in that way, reminding me he was born in Folkestone and could break my neck and kill me.
I hate this, it makes me completely uninterested in bothering with this place. Nobody moved a muscle or said a word even as I edged toward Richards shop there were families and children walking past. Richard called 101 as it was happening and as I was scarpering home I saw a Police car enter Rendezvous street so I hope he was picked up before he followed through with his threats.
I get that some people are damaged, I believe he was a war veteran from what he said, but obviously very traumatised and very lost in his own tortured thoughts, still, not my place to try and coax him out of his black cloud.
Gillian, is there any way to find out if he was arrested or attended to by the Police?
I certainly don’t feel safe and dread to think what he could have done, ten years younger than me, physically very fit and plainly very used to being violent and feared. Luckily I had a guitar in my hand and if it came down to me or him, well, he would be nursing a cracked skull this evening which again is just so far from the thoughts I want to process and so very far from what I wanted to be feeling this evening.
How many more times do we have to deal with this before we are the ones over reacting to a situation out of built up trauma and fear? Helga has weirdos in on a weekly basis and is constantly made to feel under threat from drunk or ‘eyeing’ men and shifty types casing the Old High Street shops.
Please add my words to any meetings or Emails you are included in regarding the OHS and NhW etc.
26th July 2016
After 3 meetings concerning the revival of Shepway Neighbourhood Watch, the elected committee members have made good progress towards finalising the revival of the Association.
In addition to adopting the Constitution that was already in place, we have also taken over the administration of The Charity for Shepway N Watch, together with the existing bank account and soon hope to apply for various funds that may be open to us.
We also have a website, that is still under construction, but can be viewed online at :- http://shepwayneighbourhoodwatch.org.uk
We are holding our AGM on Thursday 8th September, at 7.00 pm. At St Marys Bay Community Hall, Jefferstone Lane.TN29 OSW. Tel: 01303 873215 Thanks to the auspices of Councillor David Evans.
We hope as many coordinators and or deputies can attend, in order to elect new committee members, or re -elect those already serving. Sadly, our Treasurer, Vic Peake, passed away recently and we are looking for a volunteer to take over the position of Treasurer.
I would greatly appreciate it if those intending to attend would kindly email myself, David Colyer, at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make arrangements for the numbers to be expected.
I’d also like to hear from those unable to attend, so we can start calculating how many coordinators are still active. I’m pleased to say that most towns in Shepway had a representative at our previous 2 meetings, e.g Lydd, New Romney, Dymchurch, Fairway, Greatstone, Hythe, Sandgate and Folkestone.
Many Thanks David Colyer (coordinator) Jon Clarke (Chairman) John Barber (Secretary),