Bobby Scheme back and running on the Island

The Bobby Scheme, which has brought peace of mind and helped reduce fear of crime to the vulnerable and elderly in the Isle of Wight, is now up and running again thanks to the appointment of a new man: retired policeman John Eldridge.

The service had, unfortunately, been unavailable on the Island for a number of months due to the retirement of a key member of staff.

John Eldridge believes the scheme helps to complement emergency services and can protect residents across the Island.

In an interview with IW Radio, John said: “If I came to visit you in your house, we’d start on the outside and have a look at your perimeter, your fences, your doors, your windows. Then, we’d move into the house – talk to you about cold-callers, how you access your internet safely.”

Although the service is completely free, John says there is one requirement:

“The only thing I’d probably ask is – I’ll be there for about an hour, hour and a half maybe – put the kettle on, sit down and we’d have a cup of tea!”

Supported by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Emergency and local authorities, the Bobby Scheme provides a free service to elderly and vulnerable people, particularly victims of burglary and domestic violence, by promoting crime prevention and fire safety initiatives.

Its trained fitters are all vetted by Hampshire police, wear the Bobby Scheme uniform and carry ID cards. They carry out full home crime-prevention surveys, give reassurance and offer specific crime-prevention advice to improve safety. They also fit locks, spy-holes, door chains and smoke alarms where needed.

This year the Bobby Scheme celebrates 20 years of service, during which its fitters have visited more than 16,500 homes.

Anyone who believes they fit the criteria for a visit by a Bobby Scheme mobile team can contact or phone 0300 777 0157.