Bobby Scheme - Security Advisor

Security Advisor - Cambridgeshire Bobby Scheme

The Bobby Scheme was established in 2001 by the Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust. Primarily funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the scheme aims to reduce crime and the fear of crime among older, vulnerable and disabled people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are either victims of burglary or other crimes and are concerned about home safety and personal security. The scheme employs two full-time Security Advisors – both retired police officers with decades of experience – who visit homes to assess vulnerability to crime, discuss crime prevention information and advice with victims and install an array of security devices and alarms depending on need.

How long have you been in the role?

Six months.

What was your (professional/voluntary) background before taking on this job?

I was a police officer for Cambridgeshire Constabulary for 26 years before retiring and taking on the role of a Bobby, working for the charity.

What sort of support do you offer?

My work primarily involves visiting residents over the age of 60, who have been victims of crime, to provide free practical advice and support. I also undertake security improvements to reduce their risk of being impacted by crime in the future. Naturally, these individuals may be feeling scared and nervous and unable to sleep after what has happened. We want them to recover as quickly as possible and help them cope again with everyday life.

We install a range of security resources free of charge from window alarms and door chains through to solar lighting and shed, outbuilding and driveway alarms. We can also secure gardens. Burglars tend to be opportunistic and look for an easy way to gain access to a property. We can also issue personal alarms, ‘cat’ bells for purses and wallets, anti-skimming pouches to protect the chip on credit and debit cards from being copied and in some cases Ring doorbells depending on risk. We are lucky to have a close working relationship with Cambridgeshire Constabulary and officers make referrals to our service including members of the Cyber Crime Team in cases of fraud. We also receive automatic referrals from Athena – the force’s police intelligence and case management system.

Can you think of a victim/witness that you recently supported and describe what you think helped them recover/report/seek support?

We were asked to provide support following a burglary case at a residential dwelling in which the owner was threatened with a hammer in the kitchen. The man’s wife, who witnessed the incident, was left incredibly shaken – far more so than her husband. We fitted window and door alarms to the whole ground floor and a Ring doorbell. I could see a noticeable change in her demeanour when I left. I’ve been in touch two to three times since and she is so grateful. The fear of crime is often worse than the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime and we try to give as much peace of mind and reassurance as possible.

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