Watch Scheme Conference

Notes from Watch Scheme Conference 29.05.24 – attended by Keith Herkes,  Renhold Speedwatch Coordinator &  Parish Cllr Julie Roberts

Watch Scheme Conference

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The meeting was introduced to the new Police & Crime Commissioner,  John Izard who is a very enthusiastic supporter of the County of Bedfordshire & is very much hope that he can help its Police Force in making it a safe county

Chief Insp Jim Goldsmith encouraged everyone to sign up to Beds Connected, and we were given details of Safer Streets for Bedfordshire – details attached

Phil McCarthy, Road Safety Partnership for Bedfordshire, gave a talk showing statistics with regard to matters such as the most predominant age of those killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents (children featured highly in these, as did the 24 – 30 age group).  Road casualties devastate families & communities, and cost the national economy £Billions every year, and add to the pressure on the NHS & emergency services. 

Road Safety Partnership aim is to make roads safer by working in conjunction with other organisations such as Bedford Borough Council, Highways, Fire & Ambulance Services & schools.  He is actively trying to involve Millbrook Proving Ground and Vauxhall, to get information about what is coming in the future with regard to vehicles.  Working together, responding to accident trends, with well thought out & evidence based activity using skills each Partner brings in order to achieve sustainable reductions the hope is to reduce deaths & life-changing accidents by 50% by 2030

The next speaker was Veridian Morrelli Granger, Cyber Protect &  Prevent Officer with Bedfordshire Police, who was a very engaging speaker, telling us that half of businesses, and around a third of charities,  report having experienced some form of cyber security breach in the last 12 months.  She said we should all take steps to ensure that our data is safe.  She asked us all to look at our Facebook & make sure that our settings are on ‘private’, to discourage others against tagging others in with posts which show you or they are on holiday, away from your home etc. 

She asked if we had ever wondered how much data a company could gather on us with nothing more than a first name & a Facebook ‘Like’.  She showed a video, which was shared by fraud prevention company Cifas where a coffee shop shows what personal information they could get on customers, by getting customers to Like their Facebook page and then asking for their first name.  They were able to compile scary amounts of personal data in the time it took to whip up a cappuccino, which they wrote on the side of the customers take-away cups under their name.  Customers were shocked

We were asked to check our email addresses for data breaches by going  This will show the number of times data has been subjected to a breach, and advised passwords should be changed.  If you cant remember passwords, write them down, but do not leave that information at the side of your laptop!

Veridiana also suggested if we sell on Facebook Marketplace that for small items the sale takes place in a public place, and for larger items, i.e., furniture, if at all possible place them outside of your home to be handed over.  The buyer may look innocent, but once inside your home they may be looking to see what you own, are there security cameras, what is the access like? etc., information which would be passed on to enable an easy burglary

Speedwatch Coordinator, Juliet Wright,  thanked all the Groups, Speed Watch, Street Watch, Horse Watch & Dog Watch for the time and commitment they give to helping the police which is very important to them