The Bobby Trust began life in 1998 as one man and one van, working out of a police station. It was funded by Hampshire Police together with Hampshire County Council. With a mixture of personalised advice and practical assistance, the scheme set out to help victims of burglary and the vulnerable to feel safe again, and at the same time, reduce the risk of repeat crimes. The fitters could replace locks, fit security chains and smoke alarms, and advise the clients on the best ways to keep their homes secure.
While the scheme was having positive effects, 2010 was not a good year for publicly funded ventures. The central government drastically reduced the money they provided to local authorities and services, including Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council. Suddenly neither could afford to support the Bobby Trust in its existing format.
Believing there was still a very real need for it, founder Lindsay Fox refused to let the Bobby Scheme die. Together with Alan Lovell, who was at that time High Sheriff, they rallied friends and family to create a charitable trust to keep the scheme running.
The Birth of the Blue Lamp Trust
The Trustees were determined to create something sustainable, seeking more reliable income. They forged a commercial arm to generate income to support the Bobby Scheme. At that point The Bobby Trust became the Blue Lamp Trust.
Commercial Services and Growth
Many organisations operate large fleets of drivers. With advanced driver training, the Blue Lamp Trust enabled them to achieve measurable improvements in safety, efficiency and cost. The Trust has worked hard over the last few years to build and maintain a reputation for quality and reliability in all of its training.
In 2016 the Blue Lamp Trust expanded its Taxi Driver Assessment service nationally and is now a leading and trusted supplier to over 100 licencing authorities.
The Trust Today
Since its foundation in 2010, the Trust has expanded considerably and now has a team of five fitters operating in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The Blue Lamp Trust remains a non-profit organisation and is headed by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees have varied backgrounds – including emergency services, local government, charities and local businesses. This gives the Trust a great range of expertise to draw upon.
The Trust shares its premises with Hampshire Police and Fire and Rescue in Eastleigh, further cementing its relationship with the emergency services. It works with local government, the voluntary sector and health including GPs, social care and charities to spread the message about the Bobby Scheme.
Today, the Blue Lamp Trust is managed by Jim Bettley, a former Chief Inspector of Hampshire Police.