Our Neighbourhood Watch Network (NWN) 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Tuesday 24th November 2020 as a fully virtual meeting without anyone attending in person. 

The meeting began with a welcome from Ian Bretman, NWN Chair, followed by an address from Kit Malthouse, Minister of State for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service and MP for North West Hampshire.  Kit was eager to praise Neighbourhood Watch as he remembered the advent of the organisation 38 years ago and reflected on how it is now embedded as a key feature in the crime fighting architecture of communities. Kit went on to praise Neighbourhood Watch volunteers on their ability to be adaptable during the crisis and support communities as the needs arose.

Kit Malthouse spoke on the change of emphasis in the Home Office towards prevention of crime and the importance of addressing crime affecting local communities. Their focus has shifted towards prevention with specific focus on burglary, robbery, car crime and on murder, drugs and violence.

Kit Malthouse said, ‘prevention we think is much better than cure’ and expressed Neighbourhood Watch volunteers have a key role to play in preventing community-based crimes.

Kit Malthouse declared our new revised 5-year strategy as music to his ears and something to be welcomed. The key objectives of our new strategy are that by 2025 we will be the authoritative voice on community-based crime prevention, the most popular gateway for citizens to engage in their locality, and a recognised contributor to community health and wellbeing. After his speech Kit Malthouse answered questions from members and Ian Bretman read out a statement of support from Danny Kruger MP who recently wrote the Government Report, ‘Levelling up our Communities’.

Following a short presentation from John Hayward-Cripps on the 5-year strategy which had been amended following feedback from Association Leads and stakeholders the voting members unanimously agreed that they welcomed the new strategy as an ambitions and positive plan for the movement over the next five years.

Jayne Pascoe, Head of Partnerships and Projects presented some early findings from Neighbourhood Watch Network’s recent Crime and Community Survey conducted in August 2020.  With over 33,000 respondents the survey provides Neighbourhood Watch with a benchmark for future surveys. National and regional reports will be produced and shared via their website.

The formal AGM went smoothly with an overview of the past year from Ian Bretman and the Financial Statement overview presented by Kardaya Rooprai. All co-opted trustees were required to formally retire and be voted back onto the Board as were the longest serving trustees. All the trustees namely Ian Bretman (Chair of the Board), Sue Pillar-Lee (Vice Chair), Kardaya Rooprai (Treasurer), Rebecca Bryant, Mohamed Hameda, Kirsty McHugh and Peter Buchanan received unanimous votes onto the Board and into their respective positions. All trustees were delighted to be formally elected and Ian Bretman said ‘Thank you everyone. We really appreciate the trust and confidence you have shown in electing and re-electing us. We will do our best to take the organisation forward.’

The minutes of the formal AGM will shortly be available on our website.