Neighbourhood Watch Scotland have a small but dedicated and experienced team who aim to provide the best possible support and service to communities across Scotland. The current team comprises:
Brian Connel is a former police officer who retired from Police Scotland in 2013, following a 30 year service. Formerly of Strathclyde Police he enjoyed a varied career and was a frontline operational officer in all ranks up to Superintendent. Brian’s primary specialism throughout his career was Crime Prevention. He was amongst the first police officers to be trained in the discipline of Architectural Liaison and held the lead role within Strathclyde Police. As Force Crime Prevention Officer he co-ordinated the preventative policing portfolio on behalf of Scottish Police Forces and was the lead security industry liaison officer for Scotland. He was also an advisor to the formal accreditation of Crime Prevention Training Courses and a former Assistant Director of the Scottish Business Crime Centre (now the Scottish Business Resilience Centre). Within the field of crime prevention Brian has received national recognition and award.
Since retiring from the Police Service Brian has been a consultant on crime reduction matters delivering strategies to reduce housebreakings, vehicle crime, cycle crime, domestic violence and hate crime.
Since November 2015 Brian has been the Manager for Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and has been tasked with adapting neighbourhood watch against a backdrop of decreasing public service budgets and changing crime and community threats, such as cyber-crime and increased flooding. Having previously been a police advisor to the former Committee of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches Brian views his current role as the closing chapter on a long community safety career.
Willie comes to us from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) where he was responsible for membership representation and liaison in Scotland whilst promoting and enhancing growth through partnership working and professional recognition. Willie also brings with him over 30 years experience of local policing where he operated within Community Safety and Crime Prevention for much of that time. This included periods of both Local Authority and Health Service Liaison where he was responsible for the development and recognition of Community Safety through both a strategic and localised approach.
Willie has enjoyed a long relationship of working with communities, partners and key stakeholders in the field of Community Safety. His first contact with Neighbourhood Watch in the early 80’s as a young Area Police Constable in Central Scotland Police. As the Community Engagement Officer he provides a vital link between Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and our members and partners across Scotland.
He says,”In my time here, I have witnessed a wish for communities to re-establish and find a true community spirit where everyone looks out for each other. I have attended a host of meetings, meeting current, new and developing watches and also key meetings with communities and strategic partners on new developing areas for Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. To highlight a quote I was sent recently from a member – there is no doubt that the idea of people looking out for one another makes a very real difference in a community”.
In late 2018 Neighbourhood Watch Scotland were delighted to appoint Varrie to their administrative support role. Varrie brings with her a wealth of experience in administrative functions as well as experience in customer support and relations. Having previously worked at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre she is used to working closely with partners, such as Neighbourhood Watch, and is familiar with the Building Safer Communities environment.
On her appointment Varrie said, “I am delighted to be supporting Brian’s and Willie’s work towards the delivery of a safer and more resilient Scotland. Neighbourhood Watch Scotland has changed so much under their leadership, so an exciting and busy time lies ahead”.