On Friday 2nd December the Neighbourhood Police Team were joined by volunteers from the Community Safety Action Team of Thatcham Vision to man a mobile police van in the centre of Thatcham for the switching on of Thatcham’s Christmas lights. The volunteers handed out information cards about the non-emergency telephone number 101 and about the police-run Neighbourhood Alert Scheme. This was the second opportunity this year for the Vision volunteers to work with the Neighbourhood police team as they had worked together in the summer at Thatcham’s Family Fun Day on Henwick Field, again bringing the mobile police van to the event. In the summer the volunteers had carried out a survey and found that although nearly 70% of residents knew when to use the Police non-emergency telephone number, only 37% of them knew it was 101.
The Chair of Thatcham Vision, David Conquest, said it is important that these events give both the Vision and the Police the opportunity to meet members of the local community face to face in an informal way. Inspector Chris Ward TVP said this type of event is one of many methods the police use for community engagement and the dissemination of useful information.
The Chair of the Community Safety Action Team, Stephanie Steevenson thought the evening had gone very well indeed as many members of the public were pleased to receive the variety of information made available during the evening. One member of the public took lots of information material for a group she represents which includes some of Thatcham's residents who have disabilities, highlighting the value of arranging this type of event.