Parting gift from Shaftesbury and Gillingham Home Watch Association

08 July 2016
Shaftesbury and Gillingham Home Watch Association (S&GHWA) has donated £3000 of equipment as a legacy to their local Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs), using the last of their funds as they prepare to disband.

On Thursday 7 July 2016, Dorset Police officers from the Gillingham and Shaftesbury NPTs attended the handover ceremony, along with North Dorset District Councillor Andrew Kerby and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Colin Pipe.

Geoff Peters, former Chairman of S&GHWA, attended to present the equipment which included a projector and screen for public presentation and community speed watch equipment for training new teams.

North Dorset Neighbourhood Inspector, Rob Chalkley, said: “We are extremely grateful to S&GHWA for donating such a generous gift.

“While we celebrate this generosity and the relationship we have built with these members of our community, it also a day of great sadness as we see the group disband. They have done an outstanding job and have worked hard to help us keep North Dorset safe.

“Volunteering for a Watch group is a fantastic opportunity to meet your neighbours and work together to prevent crime and keep homes safe. The groups keep community spirit going and are a hugely valuable resource for the police.

“The survival of the groups is dependent on volunteers, so I would strongly encourage Dorset’s residents to find out about Watch schemes in their areas.”

Last year, Dorset Police issued an appeal on behalf of S&GHWA, advertising vacancies in the group and urging people to sign up. Unfortunately, the joint efforts were unsuccessful in enhancing membership. The £3000 budget for this equipment comprises the last of the group’s funds.

Mr Peters added: “It was written into our group’s constitution that, should we disband, any remaining subscription fees would be donated to local police. We hope this equipment helps the NPTs of Shaftesbury and Gillingham to engage with their communities and offer important crime prevention advice.

“It has been really great working with them, along with the other organisations that have supported us. We certainly miss organising our annual Blue Light Days.

“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the members who have made up the group for the last eight years. It is a great shame that community interest has been low in recent years, when there is still work to be done to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in North Dorset.

“If anyone is interested in restarting the S&GHWA, please contact your local NPT.”

Deputy PCC, Colin Pipe, commented: “The equipment which has been handed over today is a clear sign of the strong working relationship between Dorset Police and Watch groups.

“It is disappointing to see S&GHWA no longer operating, but it is great that they have been able to use their remaining funds to purchase this equipment.

“These products will help the team to engage with the wider community about policing priorities and the issues residents experience in the area. I’d like to thank Geoff Peters and the committee for their hard work.”

To find out more information about Shaftesbury and Gillingham HomeWatch Association, visit their website at: http://www.sghwa.org.uk/

To find out if there is a Watch scheme in your local area or to set up your own group:
  • Sign up to the Dorset Alert messaging system at: https://www.dorsetalert.co.uk/
  • Visit the national website at: http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/
  • Contact your local NPT via the Dorset Police website: https://www.dorset.police.uk/neighbourhood-policing/

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