Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dealing with Local Crime

Having experimented with CrimeStoppers (0800 555 111) over the bank holiday weekend, when three mini motorbikes were using the promenade as a proving track, the results hardly filled me with confidence.

At the official launch of the programme yesterday our Chief Constable Mike Fuller says that having a Kent branch of CrimeStoppers "gives us a local identity and enables us to deal with local crime." My experience however of being told to call Kent Police, instead to report anti-social behaviour makes me wonder if it could be improved a little further.

Apparently the free, anonymous hotline was set up 18 years ago so people could give information about crime without anyone knowing who they are. Since then it has led to 71,000 arrests in the UK and provided police with valuable intelligence but how does this impact on local crime beyond being a simple reporting mechanism only.

After all, at times you don’t want to call 999 for non emergency calls, so wouldn’t CrimeStoppers fit “The Bill”, so to speak?


Anonymous said...

The only time I reported a nuisance, two yobs breaking a gate into an alley late at night, the response was we don't have a car available at the moment. As soon as I said I was taking my cricket bat in hand to make a citizens arrest, a whole van load appeared who had been twiddling thumbs on a quiet Marine Terrace. Threaten to get stuck in yourself and perhaps a faster response might result?

John King said...

The police are trialing a new non-emergency number '101' which is meant to address this situation.

James Maskell said...

Non emergency number... Ive wondered in the past what that is. When is a call to the police not an emergency?