The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust is a registered charity and is entirely responsible for raising all the funds needed to operate the Bobby project.
The Bobby Van project consists of two vans which are, in effect, mobile workshops. The Bobby Van operators are skilled carpenters/lockfitters and trained Crime Reduction Officers. They have also been trained by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to carry out fire risk assessments with the aim of improving fire safety awareness. They wear uniforms which resemble those worn by police officers.
Initially set up to help older victims of burglary, we (delete are now able) now include vulnerable and disadvantaged people and victims of domestic violence (only if referred through DAIT).
The Bobby Van aims are:
- to reduce the fear of crime
- to reduce the incidence of burglary
- to reduce the incidence of repeat victimisation among elderly, vulnerable and disadvantaged people
The Bobby Van co-ordinators receive and prioritise referrals and make appointments for the Bobby Van operators to visit. The operator then visits and assesses the needs of the client by means of a security survey and fire risk assessment, addresses any concerns the client may have, supplies and fits locks and fittings necessary to secure the property and advises the client on personal safety and property security. They will also provide information on other agencies that may be able to help the client.
As part of the service we provide for the community the Bobby Van Trust gives talks on personal and property security to clubs, groups and societies. These are arranged by contacting the Bobby Van Co-ordinator.
The services of the Bobby Van Trust are free of charge.
Here are some examples of the work that Bobby Van has done:
- Victim of distraction burglary: An 81 year old woman was tricked by a distraction thief. Security in her home was upgraded by the Bobby Van which included fitting a voice memo alarm and extra time was spent with her to emphasise the importance of safety procedures when callers arrive at her door.
- Victim of domestic violence: A lady had suffered domestic violence and threats to kill. She was referred to the Bobby Van by the Domestic Violence Unit, who then visited and changed locks and upgraded the general security of her home. They also issued her with a personal attack alarm.
- Victims of attempted burglary: A front door was forced open whilst an elderly couple were watching television. After a referral from a police officer the Bobby Van visited and fitted window locks, door locks, a door viewer and a door chain.
Visit the Wiltshire Bobby Van website for more information: www.wiltshirebobbyvan.org.uk