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Greater Manchester no longer has a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now taken responsibility for policing and crime.

Home Watch Conference 2013

Home Watch members exchanged ideas at Home Watch Conference 2013

The Greater Manchester Home Watch Conference gave Home Watch members the chance to meet and question Tony Lloyd, listen to key speakers, and take part in a series of constructive workshops. 

It was a huge success, with Home Watch scheme members from across Greater Manchester coming together to share ideas,  support each other, learn about how Home Watch schemes are run both locally and nationally, and to identify ways to strengthen the infrastructure across Greater Manchester.

 The event also provided an opportunity to reflect on current opportunities and challenges affecting the schemes and to learn from some of the work already being carried out in the surrounding areas.

The conference aimed to:

  • develop a close working relationship between the Commissioner and Home Watch schemes
  • share good practice and new ideas amongst Home Watch schemes across Greater Manchester
  • provide Home Watch schemes with the opportunity to raise common concerns with the police and crime commissioner
  • seek the view of Home Watch scheme co-ordinators regarding policing, crime and community safety

The conference was held at Hough End Conference Centre on 13 July 2013 with over 90 delegates attending, including Home Watch Coordinators, Partnership Sergeants and PCSOs. 

Speakers

Speakers included Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, and the National Chair of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network for England and Wales, Jim Maddan.

Workshops

Delegates were given the chance to take part in the following workshops run by partner agencies and Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Restorative Justice

Aim:

  • To discover what role Home Watch Schemes could play in restorative justice and community justice panels.

Recommendations:

  • Make contact with Home Watch Schemes and invite members to join a Neighbourhood Justice Panel.
  • Keep Home Watch members up to date as and when Neighbourhood Justice Panels become available in their local area.

Actions update:

  • GMP will inform the relevant Home Watch Co-ordinator as and when a Neighbourhood Justice Panel is set up on a division. This will be done by way of ‘Know Your Community’ updates/reports thereby ensuring they have the opportunity to get involved. PC Les Warburton-Marsh will raise this as an agenda item at the next Neighbourhood Justice Panel Forum meeting so that divisions know to do this.

Victim Support

Aims:

  • To think about the needs of victims of crime and how Home Watch members can support them
  • To increase understanding of the impact crime may have on victims and how this can be specific to each individual
  • To raise awareness of the range of services provided by Victim Support
  • To look at how Home Watch members can work alongside, and support, the work of Victim Support 

Social Media

Aims:

  • To build on the learning from the 2012 conference by providing participants with the resources and skills to create their own social media pages/networks
  • To give participants the opportunity to create their own social media page in relation to their local area
  • To give participants the skills to communicate key home watch messages using social media methods
  • To give participants information about the dos and don’ts of social media

Greater Manchester Home Watch Network

Aim:

  • To discuss the potential for creating a Greater Manchester Home Watch network

Recommendations:

  • Support Home Watch chairpersons to form a Greater Manchester Home Watch Association by:
    • Communicating key messages
    • Planning and hosting meetings
    • Completing administration
    • Distribution of information
    • Identifying funding

Security Surveys

Aim:

  • Inform Home Watch members about crime prevention methods to help them support people in making their homes safer

Recommendations:

  • Provide Home Watch members with the resources to increase the geographical spread (existing members and local residents) and look into jointly funding crime prevention and target-hardening measures.
  • Forward crime reduction/prevention information – paper or electronic (this can be obtained from the Greater Manchester Police website).
  • Home Watch members be trained and given the role to deliver crime prevention surveys. 

Conference recommendations

Information sharing

  • Frequent up-to-date constructive intelligence to be given to Home Watch co-ordinators so they can quickly pass it on to community members

Communication

  • Communicate with Home Watch schemes by responding to calls and emails
  • Inform schemes if meeting attendance isn’t possible and provide information that can be passed on in the absence of a GMP representative

Partnerships

  • Partnership approach to encourage more Home Watch schemes and members via community events
  • Build trust and confidence between support officers and scheme members
  • Support Home Watch schemes from across the borough to get together in order to share good practice

Feedback

The feedback from the day was exceptionally positive, some of the comments given were:

“Well organised and very informative!” 

“Workshops were well presented and very interesting.” 

“Information provided so as to become self sufficient.” 

“We were given the ability to set up new channels of communication with GMP.” 

“It was a really good opportunity to find out what’s happening with other Home Watch schemes across Greater Manchester” 

“Intervention and contacts made through networking.” 

“I feel reassured that Home Watch is here to stay.”

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