Ferndown community office reaches ten year milestone

Ferndown Community Office, which is run by volunteers to support Dorset Police, has marked its ten year anniversary. 

The drop-in facility, based at Barrington Centre, provides a wide range of security products, while volunteers also give out crime prevention advice and support to concerned members of the public and victims of crime.

When the facility opened to the public in May 2005, it was open once a week for a short period of time and only a small number of visitors passed through the doors.

Now in its tenth year, the team of six serve members of the community six days a week between 10am – 12pm.

Last year, more than 2500 people visited the office and made use of the services it provides.

The volunteers work closely with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and is supported by: the staff at the Barrington Centre, Christchurch and East Dorset District Council, Ferndown Town Council, the Association of Dorset Watches and in particular, the local Ferndown and West Moors Watches.

Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant, Tim Travers of Wimborne Police Station, said: “Local people use this service as another way to communicate with their local SNT.

“Some people prefer to pass intelligence on and share their concerns about the community through a more informal setting and to their peers, which is why the Ferndown Community Office has been so popular with local people.

“By voicing concerns or suggestions in this way, it helps the police to build up a picture of local activity and make neighbourhoods a better place to live, work and socialise in.

“It also builds bonds with the local residents and helps them feel that they’re actively part of policing their community.

“I’d like to thank all of our volunteers, namely: Brian Frecknall, Geoff Hughes, Mike Wapshott, Derek Howshall, Peter Ebers and Cheryll Walters, without whom, none of this would be possible.

“It is with a great deal of respect and admiration that I’d like to say happy tenth anniversary to the Ferndown Community Office.”

Sheducation

As well as reaching a ten year milestone and growing from strength to strength – the volunteers at Ferndown thought of the concept of Sheducation: an initiative which helps people understand how to prevent their gardens and sheds being broken into and burgled using a life size mock-up of a shed.

Roger Long, the chairman of West Moors Home Watch, had a significant part to play in driving forward the idea of Sheducation, along with Brian Frecknall and the former Safer Neighbourhood Officer, PC Tony Tester.

The idea to educate people about the crime using a mock up shed, was born from the Community Office. It has appeared at many local and county events – providing crime prevention advice to many people.

Sheducation Crime Prevention Tips:

  • Keep gates, fences and walls in good repair to prevent intruders from getting in
  • Grow prickly plants close to vulnerable areas such as windows, fences, boundary walls and drainpipes
  • Avoid leaving expensive equipment like garden tools, mowers, mountain bikes and power tools in the shed
  • If you have nowhere else to store valuable equipment, take measures to secure your shed, i.e. fit a shed alarm, use reinforced hinges and locks and fit metal grills over windows
  • Make sure the contents of your shed are marked with a proprietary security marker
  • Make a note of serial numbers and photograph valuable equipment
  • Secure valuable items to a strong anchor point using security cables, chains and robust padlocks
  • Don’t leave ladders and tools lying around in your garden - these could be used to break into your home
  • Fit movement-sensitive security lighting
  • Check your insurance cover includes the contents of your shed


Issued: 2 July 2015

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