This year’s conference was based around the common ground our services and third sector share to make Nottinghamshire a great place to live.

Our Chair, Sue Sambells welcomed the speakers and delegates and explained the thinking behind this year’s theme. She also spoke of the developing, collaborative Memorandum of Understanding between NottsWatch and Notts Police and Notts County Council. Finally, she promoted our new website. To view Sue's introduction click here.

Community Volunteer Organisation Speakers:

Nick Gardham Nick Gardham, CEO of Community Organising Ltd was our first key note speaker. He explained the history behind CO Ltd. They support the government’s aim in building a stronger civil society by recruiting and training volunteer community organisers. Also, to grow social action hubs like Sneinton Alchemy based in Nottingham.

Saj Sajid Mahmood, Director & Founder of Himmah, a social justice charity working for poverty, race and education equalities. Saj spoke of his initial motivation and how he discovered Saul Alinsky’s methodology which enabled him to support others in his community. Saj gave an example of how building relationships with people and including them in decision making was successful in uniting Jewish and Muslim communities in Hyson Green. He persevered, despite many blockers, and now they collaborate in many social ventures.

Survey Technology within Neighbourhood Alert:

MikeMike Douglas, Product Director VISAV Limited explained how he had developed a tool, over the past decade, that supports the police and local councils in regularly establishing community issues to enable them to address these effectively and efficiently.

Listen to the audio or click or view the powerpoint by clicking on the tool above.

Engagement Tool PowerPoint

Public service Speakers:

DCC Rachel Barber 11 DCC Rachel Barber, Nottinghamshire Police talked of the drastic cuts to the police budget severely affecting police resources and results. She confirmed that they are committed to revamping engagement with the public and she would be working with Mike Douglas, VISAV, to see how they can translate his Humber Talking model into Notts Police and admitted they don’t use Neighbourhood Alert well. There are plans to expand from the current monthly Neighbourhood Team Inspectors’ blogs to ensure the public are better informed about what they are doing and why.

To view Rachel's presentation click here.

Paddy Tipping close up new Paddy Tipping, Police & Crime Commissioner agreed resource is an issue. There officer numbers are at their lowest level for 30 years but they have worked hard to gain additional funding and will be recruiting 33 more officers this year. This is because the public agreed to an increase in their community charge as long as it was ring fenced to recruit more officers. Paddy confirmed the increased funding has enabled them to recruit faster than any other force in the county (except Humberside). Paddy referred to the rebranding of NottsWatch and said he was keen have a strong third sector to challenge him. He said, “We’re all here to make a difference. What do we want? Strong, safe communities I which we can be proud to live.”

To view Paddy's presentation click here

Q&A with the panel


This was an open opportunity for questions from the delegates. Questions included:

1. Q: Colin Mackay addressed DCC Barber to say their NHW association had not been kept informed about a change in beat officers. He pointed out that not everyone has internet access and asked the police consider using local publications.

1. A: DCC Barber responded that the police were currently looking into all avenues of comms.

2. Q: Maddie Pritchard, Vibrant Worksop questioned Paddy Tipping as to why the police are taking on PCSOs and not PCs.

2. A: Paddy responded that they are recruiting a combination of PCSOs and PCs and it will be up to local Neighbourhood Policing Inspectors to allocate their beat areas. Paddy also pointed out the NP Teams are also supported by the robbery team, dog handlers, firearms team and detectives.

3. Q Kate Loewenthal, Lenton Residents Association commented on the hard work they had contributed to trying to engage local students to reduce the antisocial behaviour (ASB) the full time residents of Lenton duffer. She said they had held socials to welcome the students but despite three years of Community Trigger meetings they were frustrated with being passed from police to council as no one would take responsibility. She asked why there were mixed messages when the police website shows ASB as a police issue.

3 A: Paddy accepted Police response to ASB needed improving but he was collaborating with both universities and Nottingham City Council. There was now a commitment to creating a 24 hour neighbourhood noise phone line. They had also invested a lot of work with the control room answering 101 calls and stats confirmed improvements. Nick and Saj also contributed potential solutions. Saj warned many conversations are needed to develop relationships.

4 Q: Mark Leek, Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs asked how closely the police work with veterans. 

4. A: Paddy said Notts Police were the first force in the country to sign up to a covenant. He accepted some veterans have issues and get arrested but all their custody sergeants are well briefed. He said our previous Minister of Defence had commended Notts in their work with veterans and this is a good example of the partnership working we have been discussing all morning.

After a delicious hot lunch:

The Big Community Listening Results

Mike Douglas, NottsWatch Trustee, presented the results from the Listening Campaign survey.  The survey was distributed on the Police/Neighbourhood Watch communication system in May this year and 2,336 people completed it. The results identified many frustrations that are well known to the attending partners along with some insightful feedback regarding current issues and areas that Nottinghamshire citizens would like to see addressed.

Common Ground Organisation Pitches

Delegates were invited to find out more about the eight organisations that supported the conference, following their 30 second pitch. This was an excellent opportunity to “try before you buy” and find out more about Community Organisers, Crimestoppers, Disability Direct, Notts Fire & Rescue (Safe & Well visits), Trading standards, Notts Victim Care, Trauma Support and Vibrant Workshop. Additionally, delegates were able to learn more about setting up neighbourhood watch schemes and how they could manage their schemes using the Neighbourhood Alert tools.

An example of a well prepared pitch form Andrew Goodall, Notts Victim care:

Are you suffering as a victim of crime,
Feeling anxious or worried, or just having a bad time.
Need advice and support, but don’t know where.
Come and talk to us at Victim CARE.

We help with anti-social behaviour and hate crime as well,
Restorative Justice gives you the chance to tell
The offender, the impact of their behaviour on you
To help you move on and start anew!

We’re confidential and free and available to all
Who live in Nottinghamshire, so give us a call.
We’re here to help, that’s our intention.
Thank you for listening, and for your attention.

Pledge Signing

Initially, Paddy and Rachel signed our pledge, followed by the organisations named above. Then all delegates were invited to sign to pledge to continue to support their community and work together to find common ground and make Nottinghamshire a great place to live!

Pledge signing

Active Citizens Award Presentations

During the conference, DCC Barber, on behalf of NottsWatch, presented framed certificates to seven delegates who had been nominated by Nottinghamshire residents for services to the community.  Additionally, Kate Loewenthal, Sheila Fletcher and Chris Brummitt were also given Active Citizens Awards.

Pictured below (left) are Kate, Sheila and Chris, and all the Active Citizens are shown alongside DCC Barber and Sue Sambells (right).

Award winners

Active Citizens

For more photos of the day visit the image library 


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