Shepton Beauchamp

In the heart of Cider Country

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Neighbourhood Watch

Introduction

If you are new to the village, we would like to welcome you, and tell you a little about ourselves. The Neighbourhood Watch group has been active in the village for several years, but membership dropped off and the group was not really working well. As part of our Parish Plan, the group was reformed, and has become more active in the last couple of years.

Though our region does not experience high levels of crime, we feel that fostering good neighbourliness, and keeping an eye on our community is always important, and that is what we try to do.

There is a very loose structure, with no money involved! We meet every 2 months to discuss any problems or issues that have arisen. See calendar for meeting dates. We are very well supported by our local Police Community Support Officer Michelle Haimes, who keeps us informed about what might be a local problem, and helps with Crime Prevention initiatives, and general raising of awareness locally.

We would like to thank South Somerset Homes for their support, and particularly Vicky Saunders, the warden at Buttle Close, who makes us so welcome.

Primary Contacts

NameTelephonee-mail
Co-ordinatorMary Clarke01460 240 363mary_mh.clarke@virgin.net
Deputy co-ordinatorMike Stephens01460 242 466mgst@talktalk.net

Local Contacts

We try to have a local contact person for each part of the village, and they can help with any immediate problems.

2011 Meeting Dates

Meetings are held on Mondays in the Common Room Buttle Close starting 8pm

Monday 21st March16th May18th July19th September21st November

Current Topics

Meeting Notes January 2013

Notes on meeting held on Monday 21st January 2013 at Buttle Close.

Seven members attended, as did our PCSO Ceara Sturt, and our new Beat manager Alan Hollick. Ceara told us of incidents in the area recently, which included theft of gas cylinders in the Robins Lane/ Church St area. There have been similar thefts in South Petherton. Thefts from oil tanks do not seem to be a problem at the moment.

Over the New Year period there were a set of goal posts thrown against the Muga in the Rec, and removed for safety by local residents.

We explained to our new beat manager that the village was generally fairly low in crime, though there had been some incidents of vandalism after some social events last year, though the Jubilee celebrations were generally trouble free.

Alan Hollick expressed an interest in being informed about coming events, so a Police presence could be there, if possible, just to meet the locals. When we have his contact details, this will happen. It is not clear if Police are informed when a licence to sell alcohol at public events is issued.

A resident inquired about the road marking at the junction of Robins Lane and Church Street. These white lines prohibit parking on the corners to allow safe access, but are often parked on for long periods. Apparently white lines are now the responsibility of the highways dept of the SCC, and not the Police. ThePolice are are now responsible for zigzag lines!

We also discussed reporting Road traffic accidents. If an accident occurs, the person at fault should leave their personal details with the injured party, if possible. If this is not possible, the details of the incident should be reported to the local Police. If there is no injury to people, and all the exchange of details has taken place, the Police do not need to be informed.

We have all noticed the increasing numbers of parked cars on the roads, and feel that drivers go too fast on many occasions. In the coming months there will be a SID (speed indicator device) located in Lambrook Road, which will show if people are going too fast. I believe this will not be a permanent structure.

We were also reminded of sensible advice for drivers in the present weather conditions: Make sure windscreens are clear to enable visibility; have enough fuel to complete journey, and also for heating if you get stuck; have warm clothes, hot drinks and emergency food such as chocolate; keep your mobile phone charged up; check route is safe before leaving; drive carefully. A shovel and sacking etc in the boot can sometimes help. Mary Clarke 23/1/2013

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Meeting Notes November 2012

Notes on meeting held on 8th November 2012.
Eight local residents attended, and we were joined at 9pm by our PCSO Ceara Sturt, and her colleague Carol from Martock. They had been delayed by a road traffic accident.
New members were asked for their email addresses, so information from police could be forwarded. In general the discussion centred on dissatisfaction with the service we were receiving, and the lack of response to queries.

It is not clear if any incidents reported by email are noted, as they do not appear to receive a response. If the only method of successfully reporting a crime or anti social behaviour event is by phoning 101, then this should be clearly stated. The advantage to using email as far as we are concerned, is that we have a record. Do we now have to make a separate log book? Incident Log - Summer 2012

Promises to investigate incidents have not been kept, and cases closed without any apparent investigation. Though we are not a high crime area, the feeling is that there are more incidents of vandalism/antisocial behaviour and criminal damage than in the past. The group agreed to produce a spread sheet of known (or rumoured) events, and try to assess what had happened.

The level of reporting was not high. This may be due to fear of reprisal, worry that young people may through stupid behaviour get a criminal record, or lack of encouragement from the police service. There may also be an understandable wish to protect local family members etc.

Generally when local events are organised the police are informed. The events over the Jubilee weekend were successful, and a police presence was noted. Alcohol consumption has been linked to certain incidents. Are risk assessments carried out, and stewards present? I think this is generally the case.

The general feeling was that low level nuisance was on the increase, and that this needs to be nipped in the bud. We as locals need to have our say when unsuitable actions occur, but a visible police presence would send a message that there are possible repercussions to bad behaviour. Ceara hopes to start foot patrols in the village now that she has been in the job for a few weeks, and we welcome this. She also said incidents could be reported on 101 without leaving a name. She said that some past officers had not done a very good job, that the service was being reorganised, and that things should improve. We look forward to evidence of this.

Mud on road due to farming activities has caused some problems, though some have noted farmers/contractors using sweepers to keep the roads clean. There is an obligation to clear up mud left on the road, though some recent deposits have been due to runoff from fields, a bit more difficult to deal with.

The PCSOs encouraged us to call if we saw suspicious vans, cars, activities. These would be logged and investigated if need be.

We were pleased to meet our new PCSO, and look forward to seeing her out and about in Shepton. The spreadsheet of incidents will be passed to the Parish Council on Monday and to the beat manager. We look forward to a response.

Mary Clarke, 11/11/2012 Contact email home@marymhclarke.plus.com, tel 01460 240 363 Next meeting Monday 21st January 2013, in Buttle Close.

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Meeting Notes September 2011

Notes on meeting held on Monday 19th September 2011. 7 members attended, and some apologies were received.

Roger reported that our new PCSO attended the last Parish Council meeting, but was called away before she could speak! We hope that she will be able to attend our next meeting. Please note the new non emergency number to contact the Police is 101.

There have been no reported incidents in our area, though there has been theft of quad bike and trailer from a local farm. There have been some sightings of a caller driving a large white van, visiting houses in out of the way places, ostensibly selling bedding. The van carries a mobile phone contact number, but calls are not answered. We all need to be careful with these types of caller, who may have a companion entering your house by the back door, as you chat at the front. Also there have been callers selling fish from a van, who was rudely aggressive to a local woman. Also double glazing sellers looking for custom, and a pair of women selling scratch cards. These may be legitimate businesses, but healthy suspicion may not go amiss. Please ensure you house is secure, especially in these dark evenings.

I have contacted our PCSO to find out what is legal with regard to doorstep selling.

Fortunately we live in a quiet area, and crime is rare. As the days are cooler and shorter we need to look out for our neighbours, and intervene if they need help.

Mary H Clarke, 22/09/2011
Next meeting Monday 21st November.

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Meeting Notes July 2011

Notes on Neighbourhood Watch meeting held on Monday 18th July 2011 There was a good turnout of 8 people, but fortunately nothing much to report. Our PCSO Rachel Napper has not attended our meetings for a while, and did not attend the latest Parish Council meeting. However there do not seem to have been any incidents recently, for which we are grateful.

Reports from group of shed break in at builders workshop, van break-in in Seavington, strimmer stolen from trailer in Hinton St George. This should reinforce the advice to leave no goods on display in cars and vans, and to lock vehicles when not attended. There always seems to be someone ready to take advantage of our lack of care.

The pothole reporting to Highways Dept of Somerset County Council is still on-going.

We are advised to take care of empty houses left unoccupied due to holidays, hospital stays and other events. Any suspicious activity should be reported to Police.

Concern has also been raised about speeding motorbikes in the centre of the village. The noise and apparent lack of care and caution is worrying.

It was suggested we should have a “Raising awareness of NHW” in the autumn, but not much enthusiasm was displayed! However we are always open to suggestions. I apologise for no notes produced after last meeting. There were no major concerns raised.

Next meeting Monday 19th September at 8pm in Buttle Close
Mary H Clarke, 22/07/2011
Contact tel; 01460 240 363

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Meeting Notes March 2011

Notes on NHW meeting held on Monday 21st March 2011. There were eight members in attendance, and aplogies from some people on holiday.

Our PCSO Rachel Napper was not available as she was not on duty. In advance she answered queries raised by community members about the danger caused to traffic in Lambrook Rd by the chip van, which parks west of the Piece Lane entrance. After inspecting the area, she could see no problem to be rectified. There had been a problem caused to residents in Lambrook Rd by rowdy revellers at 2.30 am on Sunday 13th March, who threw post against a house, and also emptied the contents of the dog mess bin on the path. Unfortunately this was not reported while the activity was taking place, and the Police were unable to intervene.

Please remember that when a crime is occurring (such as criminal damage) ring 999. A Police car in the area will be directed to the scene. For reporting incidents that have already occurred, ring 0845 456 7000. Always ask for an incident number, so you can track the progress of any investigation, and to ensure it is recorded. Remember that I cannot report incidents, those involved must do so themselves.

Apart from these incidents, we have no further reports of problems. Other matters raised were:- information about an open day at the new South Petherton Community hospital which will take place on Saturday 26th March between 10 am and 2 pm.

Advance notice of the Launch of Cowleaze Meadow Project which will take place on Saturday 21st May, from 1pm onwards. The Meadow will be opened by local MP David Laws, the school will perform a Maypole dance, and there will be food and drink available, with local musicians playing during the afternoon. Everyone is invited. More information nearer the date.

Concern about Library closures were expressed.

The project by Western Power to switch off street lights during the hours of darkness is still being considered.

Mary H Clarke , 25/03/2011

Next meeting Monday 16th May 2011.

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