Neighbourhood Watch – Information

The Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Chew Stoke is Jenny Ireson. Jenny can be contacted on 01275 332110. Information from Jenny about our local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme follows:


The village Neighbourhood Watch was set up with Ron Banks as the village co-ordinator. After several years he passed this job on to David Heald who in turn, passed it on job to me.

We have had up to 28 contacts representing various streets in the village, who receive messages from the Police (either by telephone or by e-mail) to be passed on if they affect local residents. This is the largest number of contact people in any village in the valley.

As the years have gone by the number of break-ins and crimes have dropped. This has corresponded with the increasing detection rates from the Police.

Whilst this is a wonderful position to be in, it has resulted in a dropping off of enthusiasm for active participation in the Watch area as the necessity for vigilance decreased. Let us hope that the present economic downturn does not result in too big a reversal in this situation. Unfortunately there has been a pick up already in thefts from garden and outbuildings and also from cars when valuables have been left on show. We can all help ourselves by securing our property more actively.

In my time as village co-ordinator I have had marvellous co-operation from Rod Lee and then Glen Lord (the two beat officers) for Beat 118 – Chew Valley North and indeed from all the Police at various levels.

Working along side both Police and the Banes representatives in the Chew Valley Action Group, in which Neighbourhood Watch and Parish Council representatives were also included, was both interesting and informative.

This group has been superseded by THE P.A.C.T. MEETINGS (Partners and Communities Together) which includes the parishes of Chew Stoke, Chew Magna, Bishop Sutton, Ubley, Compton Martin, Whitchurch, Publow with Pensford, Nempnett Thrubwell and Norton Malreward. These meetings must be held quarterly and all the previous groups and the general public are invited to participate actively. Any issues of concern may be raised and those voted the 3 most important are taken by B&NES and/or the Police and progress must be reported on at the following meeting. The P.C.S.O’s (Police Community Support Officers) also take an active role freeing the Police for the most serious tasks.

If anyone has an interest in Neighbourhood Watch or just in coming along to the PACT Meetings, which are chaired by Roy Ireson at the request of the Constabulary, can watch out for the dates in the Gazette, the Parish Magazine or on this web-site.


Firstly I would like to record my personal thanks to Glen Lord for all the help he has given to me in Neighbourhood Watch matters and to Roy in his work with the Chew Valley Action Group and the PACT meetings. We both wish Glen a happy retirement.

As he will have explained, the crime figures in the Chew Valley have risen a little but compared to other areas, they are still very low. This is largely due to some excellent work by the personnel on the Chew Valley North beat, led by Glen.

We are lucky to live in a relatively crime free area but it does mean that Neighbourhood Watch is not as close to the front of our minds as it perhaps should be during this recession. Contacts for the village are receiving more warnings from the Police. There have been break-ins in the area and cars have been broken into, with doors wrenched open in Chew Magna, and yet some of us still leave valuables on show.

Cold callers are trying to be more subtle. Offenders showed an I.D. card at one home. They claimed to be installing a washing machine next door and said that they had to lower the water pressure. One suspect led the resident into the kitchen where he ran the taps and pulled out the washing machine. While this was happening, the other culprit removed property from the location. This is a slight change of tack from the usual “waterboard” scam.

We are asked to pass this message on to all elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends or relatives, and recommend that no entry is allowed to anyone they do not know.

We are ALL asked to be extra careful to secure our homes and property and help to bring those crime figures back down.





Due to the crime figures in the Chew Valley continuing to drop; as Glen has just explained; Neighbourhood Watch is therefore not in the forefront of people’s consciousness and parishioners do not feel the need to do anything more than tell their immediate neighbours when they are going on holiday. Nevertheless the many Neighbourhood Watch contacts in the village still receive warnings from the Police about crimes. I only publicise those in the immediate area when I feel that extra vigilance is called for. There seem to be 4 main problems about which the Police wish us to be advised.




OUTBUILDINGS (covered by Glen)


DISTRACTION BURGLARS continue to target elderly residents with offenders claiming to be from the Water Board etc.,.


COLD-CALLERS As spring approaches, the Police remind us of the dangers of cold-callers offering overpriced, shoddy or even unnecessary services, such as repairing driveways or roofs, or selling overpriced items door-to-door without a licence. Only use workmen who have been recommended by friends or family, never to pay in advance and always get a written quote.


Glen has already described the PACT initiative to you. All POLICE AUTHORITIES and DISTRICT AND PARISH COUNCILS will hold several meetings a year with the PUBLIC, NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH GROUPS and indeed ANY INTERESTED PARTIES. At these sessions everyone is free to raise their concerns. As the authorities are required to report back at the following meeting on the ACTIONS TAKEN and the PROGRESS MADE on the issues which were raised, this gives a real opportunity for the public to make sure that their worries are not overlooked. The meetings are held in rotation and are chaired by a member of the public (Roy). The sessions are lively, surprisingly fast moving and well worth attending to get an insight into how local services are actually trying to support our needs.


Jenny Ireson.









  © Chew Stoke Parish Council 2017 DWS IT