Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Trevithick Day

We were lucky with the weather at Trevithick Day this year. Despite the forecast and the fact that it appeared to be threatening to rain for most of the afternoon, everyone stayed dry and all the parades went well. I made Richard Trevithick the central theme of my maiden speech to parliament. His achievements were extraordinary and a reminder of what Camborne contributed to the development of modern engineering. The replica of the Puffing Devil is always the star of the show and this year was no exception. It is worth remembering that events like Trevithick Day are only made possible because of the work of dedicated volunteers from groups like the Trevithick Society. Also helping at Trevithick Day were fifteen members of the Camborne branch of the Police Cadets. I met Ben Davies, one of the cadets, during a visit to Camborne Police station on Friday for a briefing on some of the excellent work that volunteers are doing to support the work of our police locally. I have been really encouraged to see the renewal and growth of branches of the Police Cadets. The Camborne branch now has some 28 members and has been going from strength to strength in recent years. I have always felt that, if we want to bring policing closer to the community, we should start with the next generation. Wouldn’t it be good if young people left school feeling an affinity towards their local police force because they had actually been involved? Neighbourhood Watch schemes were established some thirty years ago to ensure a much stronger involvement from local communities in tackling crime but, today, the work of volunteers goes well beyond the activities that people traditionally associate with Neighbourhood Watch schemes. I met three volunteer drivers, John, Ben and John, who give up their own time in retirement to help drive police officers around for meetings and appearances at court. They drive unmarked police cars and their work enables the police to make far more effective use of a smaller fleet of cars. Rather than having one car parked all day and unused, the network of volunteers work on shifts to ferry the police between meetings and court appearances to maximise the use of the unmarked vehicles based in Cornwall. Then there is the work of the local Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and I met Adam, Pam and June who are all longstanding volunteers who take a lead in bringing together local groups and organising meetings where people can share local concerns. The introduction of community police officers has strengthened ties between local communities and has also enabled Neighbourhood Watch groups to expand and become stronger. Many of those who help have retired but feel they have more to contribute to society. Why not volunteer to support your local police? To find out more contact Sergeant Steve Parr on 01209 611379 or email steven.parr@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk