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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

How you can help tackle crime

If you want to make sure your community is as safe as possible, one of the best things to do is to get involved and help. The starting point is to report crime if you see it, but there are lots of ways you can tackle crime and protect your neighbourhood.

Reporting crime

The police and other public services can’t tackle crime and anti-social behaviour alone. If people don't report crime or come forward as witnesses it can be hard for them to solve cases and bring criminals to justice. You can help play your part by reporting crime and anti-social behaviour when you see it.

Reporting crime in an emergency

In an emergency you should always call 999. An emergency is when a crime is happening, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby or when someone is injured, threatened or in danger.

Reporting crime anonymously

If you want to report a crime but are concerned about revealing your identity to the police you can get in touch with Crimestoppers. Find out how to reach them on their website.

Get involved with your neighbourhood policing team

Made up of police officers and community support officers (PCSOs), your neighbourhood policing team is there to make your street safer.

It holds regular open meetings with residents to discuss what’s being done about crime, and to ensure that new problems are dealt with.

You can find out where and when the next meetings will be held and what they are doing in your area by visiting their website.

Join Neighbourhood Watch

One of the simplest and most effective moves you can make to protect your community is to join your local Neighbourhood Watch group. If there isn't one in your area already, you can start your own.

Your local police station can put you in touch with a group near you. The Neighbourhood Watch website has lots of information to help you get started.

Join a tenants' or residents' association

These groups provide a way for you to get involved in taking care of your local area.

They often organise community events and make sure buildings are tidy, but they can also improve the safety of your street. They can help you take a stand against crime and anti-social behaviour.

You can get involved by joining or setting up a tenants' or residents' association.

Become a Special Constable

The Special Constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who work with and support their local police.

'Specials', as special constables are known, come from all walks of life - they can be teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries, or from any other profession. They all volunteer at least four hours a week to their local police force. Their work forms a vital link between the regular (full-time) police and residents.

Once they have completed their training, they have the same powers as regular officers and wear a similar uniform.

If you join the Specials you can:

  • learn new skills and gain valuable experience
  • challenge yourself
  • learn first-hand about the police force before committing to a full-time job there

Get involved with the justice system

There are several ways to get involved with local community justice projects.

For example, you could:

  • attend public meetings (such as neighbourhood policing team or Neighbourhood Watch meetings)
  • become a member of a community justice forum
  • join an advisory group
  • suggest Community Payback projects for offenders to carry out as part of their community sentence

Volunteering to tackle crime or help victims

You can also volunteer for other positions tackling crime, or helping victims and witnesses. You could:

  • become a magistrate
  • become a Special Constable or police support volunteer
  • volunteer to sit on a youth offender panel
  • get involved with volunteer groups like Victim Support or the witness service to help people affected by crime

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