Devon and Cornwall Police are trying to revive the lapsed neighbourhood watch scheme.
They are looking for a volunteer to help out at Cullompton Police Station, preferably from Cullompton. They would have to have computer skills, a personable telephone manner and be able to liaise with the police. No hours are stipulated. They already have such a man in place in Tiverton and although he is fairly new to the job he is proving invaluable. He can't have much of a home life as he is in the station 4 days a week as well as co-ordinating his own patch.
Cullompton Policing area is divided into 4 areas; Cullompton Town, Bradnich and outlying districts, Willand and Halberton (including Sampford Peverell), and Upper and Lower Culm.
The nearest they came to mentioning Upper Culm was Uffculme. I pointed this out and said Hemyock needed its scheme reviewing. The inspector agreed.
100 co-ordinators were invited to this meeting in Cullompton Town Hall at the end of February, and about 30 turned up. 2 policemen, 2 volunteers, and 2 PCSOs were also present.
We were given a résumé of Cullompton and it's problems, Halberton and Willand ditto, also Bradnich and Uffculme.
The volunteers gave a history of their movement, they were started before the police, and how they have helped tackle things like speeding, anti-social behaviour etc. Their award was also mentioned. All the things they have helped tackle have been asked for by local communities.
Neighbourhood watch officers dedicated to this have been dispensed and there are no funds to reinstate them. They want us to get up and get motivated to help the police. Our local officers supposedly dedicated to our area were not present. I pointed out I hadn't yet clapped eyes on him/them.
All the usual issues were raised - communication, response times, etc, and we got the usual platitudes. The Police are obviously facing the proposed loss of 180 officers and we are "going to make up the deficit."