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21st June 2013

What are we doing?

On Friday 21st June and Saturday 22nd 2013, we took part in Neighbourhood Watch Week.

On the Friday,  Peter Salmon set out a stall outside Budgens in Doddinghurst, whilst Peter Fisk paraded in a somewhat unusual display arrangement to the amusement of everyone arriving at the local schools:-

Petes outside Budgens

On  the Saturday, Peter and Colin Freeman set up the stand at the very successful Brentwood Strawberry Fair, assisted by other members of Brentwood Area Neighbourhood Watch.

One issue that we are currently considering in depth is the request to reduce speeds outside the schools to 20mph during school hours. Generous donations by Councillor Anne Naylor and the Dagwood Trust have provided most of the needed funding, but technical and administrative difficulties are proving hard to overcome. Fortunately it looks as though changes on a national scale may relieve us of the responsibility.
Our annual report to the Parish Council is located here. It gives a summary of our main activities from April 2012 to April 2013.
At the November 2010 meeting we finally agreed a formal constitution for Doddinghurst Neighbourhood Watch. We had to do this so that we can open a business bank account and so hold our small amount of funds in the approved manner.

 The Junior section is well into a new year of activities, having had a very successful introductory session; one on security, and a great firework safety poster competition. We have session on burglary scheduled shortly, and there will be one on property marking early in the New Year.

We are now routinely supplying SmartWater kits, one of the products that can uniquely identify property from a particular house. We have been told that this type of product can dramatically reduce the value of stolen items to a burglar, as well as making items in his possession competely traceable by police. If widely implemented through the village with street signs to warn potential burglars, we could achieve a big reduction in our local risk of burglary. The kits cost almost 20 each including delivery, and that is what we charge.

Local Fire Officers are still able to install the new smoke alarms with 10-year life batteries for NHW members free of charge. The members have welcomed the advice offered at the same time. One point in particular is that everyone should have a plan for what to do in the event of a fire on their property. There is no charge for this service. Please contact us if you would like to take advantage of it.

Speedwatch is  regularly active but needs a few more volunteers.   The village has a team equipped and trained to use a speed camera. They hope to reduce dangerous speeding around the village. Reports of speeding motorists are sent to the police for action. Sadly the team is obliged to put warnings up and to wear high visibility clothing when carrying out Speedwatch activities so most motorists slow down briefly and are not reported.
Recent checks suggest that average speeds in the 30mph areas are about 35mph, with some drivers coming close to the speed limit and a few grossly exceeding it. Occasional official police speed traps are now being run to attempt to reduce the number of drivers with no consideration for the safety of others.

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