Chief Constable Mike Veale's monthly column: May

Posted in News

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the launch event of a new service aimed at protecting vulnerable people in the local community from the growing threat of cybercrime. It is a very real threat, which knows no geographical boundaries, and it is one we must all be wary of.

Thanks to the incredible work of the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and its dedicated and remarkable group of volunteers, we now have an advisory service that will help people stay safe.

For those in our community who are over 60 or over 18 and registered disabled, they will be able to request a visit from one of the newly trained Online Safety Volunteers. Working alongside Wiltshire Police, the Bobby Van will deliver this wonderful new initiative across Swindon and Wiltshire.

As one of the fastest growing crimes targeting people over 60 it is really good to see these community minded volunteers stepping forward to help prevent crime by giving up their time to help others improve their security.

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust itself is a fantastic service and has been securing homes for almost 20 years now. Working alongside the police and the fire service, they do a remarkable job in not only making homes safer for vulnerable people in our communities, but also in restoring confidence and sense of safety that everybody in our communities should have. I cannot overstate how important that is and I am incredibly proud to be associated with such a brilliant charity.

I am pleased to see this charity respond to changing needs and I really believe it will make a positive difference. I hope that the people this scheme is aimed at take the opportunity to use it and make the most of the fantastic work that has gone into this.

As well as people over 60 and adults who are registered disabled, the Bobby Van also does a lot of work to help victims of domestic violence, which is the fastest growing area of the charity’s work.

Domestic Abuse can affect many people’s lives and comes in many forms. One in four women and one in six men are affected by it. Reducing the number of incidents and supporting victims is another incredibly important area of the Bobby Van’s work.

The charity also installs covert cameras and manages around 60 of them in some of the most vulnerable homes in the county. Their work in this area has helped Wiltshire Police secure convictions and, perhaps most importantly, has given many people peace of mind.

I would like to publicly express my personal gratitude for the work of the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, its operators and its volunteers, they do a really incredible job.

I was recently very pleased to see one of our own Detective Constables, Michael O’Sullivan run the London Marathon in aid of the Bobby Van. He put in an incredible effort and raised over £2,000 online for the charity in the process.

I’m not suggesting you get your trainers on and run 26 miles, but the Bobby Van is a charity and does rely on the generosity of the public. I would encourage anybody who felt like supporting this great cause to do so, it really does make an huge difference to so many different people across Swindon and Wiltshire.

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