07 January 2008
Gwent Bobby Van trust is one of the most successful in the whole of Britain in its crusade to make the homes of the vulnerable safer.
This financial year to date, the scheme has fitted an impressive 2466 security devices to homes in the area in order to prevent potential criminal activity.
Tackling crime is at the top of the agenda for Caerphilly County Borough Council, which part funds the scheme and is a key player in the Caerphilly County Borough Community Safety Partnership.
Set up in 1998, the scheme now boasts six vans, including a special unmarked one for victims of domestic abuse, race hate and homophobia. The vans operate from Newport, Cwmbran, Bedwas, Blackwood and Tredegar police stations and are deployed as and when necessary.
Clients for the scheme are referred by organisations such as Gwent Police, local authorities and Age Concern, who are then visited by a Bobby Van representative, a carpenter by trade, who carries out an initial survey. Devices such as door and window locks are fitted free of charge, as well as spy holes and dummy CCTV cameras.
Partnership chairman, Alun Thomas, said "I'm full of praise for this wonderful scheme which tackles the fear of crime head on by making the job of the criminal much more difficult. These security measures give victims of crime, who've already had a traumatic experience, the peace of mind to which we are all entitled."
The initiative has proved to be extremely positive; the revictimisation rate for homes secured by the scheme currently stands at just 0.49%.
Council leader Harry Andrews said, "The scheme is helping put the minds of our most vulnerable residents at rest. It is a highly recommendable project which works on the front line to make sure that people can sleep in their beds at night, without the nightmare of a break in."
Trust manager of the scheme, Alyn Chown agrees adding, "The response I get from clients is tremendous. They feel so much more secure in their homes. A lot of pensioners live in fear, especially if they hear of a burglary nearby. What we find is that once we secure their premises the psychological value to them is immense; they can lead a much more independent life.
For more information contact: Alyn Chown (01633) 245202
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