One group has been providing an extra service for their Group which is proving to help community spirit. It involves a Police Community Message Service for the area, which not only gives members a heads up on Crime in the area but also gives the Police a method of requesting help.
It started with a request for help in tracing an 83 year old missing Person which was posted as an Admin on both the Main Group and Cafe. Although the person was not found, it served as a prompt for a dialogue between the Group owner and the local area Inspector about further ways of helping in the future.
The system now in place involves the neighbourhood watch coordinator, who sends all local Watch messages to the -owner address, covering areas that the Cafe members may be in. They are collated into one post and sent out to the Cafe Group.
Opinions have been sought on the service and they have been positive. A poll run on the in group with regard to Emergency community messages showed 91% of voters being in favour of them being sent to both groups. An Emergency message was defined as reports of Missing Persons or Major incidents requiring members help.
Neighbourhood policing are really pleased with this extra community contact service and are happy for other groups to enquire about joining.
If you want to adopt something similar for your group, it obviously depends on what services your local police force provide to neighbourhood watch teams in your area. But a first point of contact could be your local Neighbourhood watch coordinator via your police contact centre to discuss the possibility.
Below is a sample message that gets posted out:
To all Newtown Watch members - 11th September 2010
There have been two thefts of motor vehicle, reported on Wednesday 8th September. The first a Blue Ford Fiesta, N111 XXX, taken from Hill Road which occurred on 7th. URN 111 of 08/09 refers.
The second was also a Ford Fiesta, colour green Reg. No. P222 ZZZ, taken from a car park at Hill Road South. URN 222 of 08/09 refers.
If you have any information which might assist the Police with their enquiries, please telephone 08xx xxx xxxx or if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers Charity on 0800 xxx xxxx and quote the URN and date.