Postcards aim to help cut burglaries in Southend
More than 60,000 postcards are being posted through the letterboxes of homes across Southend in a bid to help cut burglaries in the town. [11 April 2012]
The independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers are sending out the postcards as part of a campaign launched last month which urges residents to tell what they know about any burglaries or stolen goods. And they could even get a cash reward for their information.
Crimestoppers plays a significant part in the fight against burglaries. Last year the charity received 5857 pieces of actionable information relating to burglary and theft leading to 633 arrests and charges across the UK.
The postcards have started going through letterboxes of homes across Southend and will continue over the next few weeks. The first postcard tells residents about Crimestoppers’ reward system for information. Up to £1,000 can be claimed for any information which leads to the arrest and charge of those responsible for burglaries or handling stolen goods. The second and third postcards ask if residents know anything about any local burglaries or those committing burglary and if they have information about anyone handling stolen goods.
Those that do not want to speak with Essex Police on 101 can use Crimestoppers’ 24 hour free phone number, 0800 555 111, where they can give information about crime 100% anonymously or they can submit a secure online form via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “We really need people in this seaside town to tell us anything they know about burglaries and people handling stolen goods. It is a very safe town with Police really cracking down on burglary and handling stolen goods but unfortunately these crimes still occur.
Last year, just over 1700 pieces of information were received about crime and criminals in Essex leading to nearly 100 arrests. While this is a great result, we still need more information about crime. Maybe someone has confessed to being involved in a burglary or you know who is handling stolen goods in your area?”.
She continued by urging anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to call the Crimestoppers’ number.
Ann said: “Being burgled is not just about losing possessions, it also robs you of feeling safe in your own home. People should be able to feel secure and confident in their homes. No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers as you will remain anonymous – no personal information is taken. Calls are not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 24 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity”.
Simon Ford, from Southend Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, who funded the campaign added: “We realise that not everybody feels comfortable going to the police with information about criminals carrying out burglary and handling stolen goods. We are providing our community with a safe alternative to giving information about crime by joining forces with the charity Crimestoppers. Burglars raided 691 homes in Southend last year and 6849 homes across the whole of Essex during last year – we are committed to addressing this issue”.
A similar burglary campaign run in another Essex seaside town last year by Crimestoppers saw a 200 per cent increase in information about burglary and handling stolen goods with 3 arrests and convictions.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also complete a ‘giving information’ form on the Crimestoppers website www.crimestoppers-uk.org <http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/
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