Crimestoppers and Victim Support Scotland join forces with Strathclyde Police to target violent crime
Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and Victim Support Scotland are urging residents in South Lanarkshire to help rid their community of violent crime with the launch of a new campaign [21 June 2011]
As part of the new campaign, Crimestoppers and Victim Support Scotland will be joining forces with Strathclyde Police to drive home the message that information about violent criminals in South Lanarkshire can be passed on completely anonymously through the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111 or via the online giving information form.
In order to effectively tackle violent crime, information on those who habitually carry knives or other weapons is required so that officers can follow up on this and target the offenders robustly.
Kate Jackson, Assistant National Manager of Scotland Crimestoppers, said of the campaign:
“Calls to Crimestoppers are never traced or recorded and in the 23 years that the charity’s been running no one has ever been identified. We provide a completely anonymous way for members of the public to give information about violent criminals in South Lanarkshire, knowing that they will never have to go to court or give a statement to the Police.
Just one call could provide the missing piece in the jigsaw in locating a violent criminal in South Lanarkshire.”
Heather Dickson, Business Delivery Manager for Lanarkshire at Victim Support Scotland added,
“Victim Support Scotland deal with more than 80,000 victims of crime every year, and many of these are as a result of knife or weapons crime. On a daily basis we see the impact this type of crime has, and the devastation it causes for individuals, their families and their communities.
We constantly strive to increase awareness of just how far reaching the impacts of crime are, and we are delighted to be supporting this campaign. It provides an opportunity for anyone in our local communities, from children in school to our older residents, to provide any information they have on those who persist in carrying and using weapons in a safe and confidential way.
This campaign empowers communities to show that they will not tolerate weapons crime, and enables Crimestoppers and the Police to work with communities to try and eradicate it from the streets of South Lanarkshire and ultimately reduce the number of victims of weapons crime.”
Chief Superintendent Alan Gall, Divisional Commander of South Lanarkshire Division commented,
“Violent crime can be a major concern to local people, particularly when incidents of this type take place on their doorstep. Officers in South Lanarkshire work hard to detect violent offenders who are hell bent on carrying knives or other weapons in order to cause harm.
Let’s be brutally honest, anyone who leaves their house carrying a knife or a weapon does so with the sole intention of possibly using the weapon against someone.
We have devised this campaign to speak directly to our communities that they have the power to do something about it. That power is to report information that they may have on offenders and potential offenders – not to the police, which can cause fear of repercussion – but straight to Crimestoppers, whilst remaining completely anonymous.
We need local people to fill in the missing gaps of information so we can lock these people up. My officers regularly attend community meetings and tirelessly promote community engagement.
This needs to be a two way relationship and in order to assist the police in South Lanarkshire in tackling those that are responsible for serious violence I need the community to offer up any form of information.
Please don’t assume that the police will already know as this could, in extreme cases, be the difference between saving someone’s life and yet another tragic set of circumstances. That thought must always be at the forefront of your mind.
I am very pleased to have Victim Support Scotland on board, as so many families of victims of violent crime get invaluable help and support from them.”
Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal, Hamilton said,
“As prosecutors, we deal with crimes involving knives and other weapons every day, and are only too well aware of the devastation these offences cause to families and communities in Lanarkshire.
People who carry weapons pose an extreme danger to the public and may face a lifetime in prison if they use these.
I fully support this initiative which will assist Strathclyde Police to translate the information which is received into evidence against individuals and in turn to build a strong prosecution case against them.
We will continue to work with the police and other criminal justice agencies to take a robust approach to violent crime, and anyone acting in this way can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
John Rowbotham, Editor of the Hamilton Advertiser, Rutherglen Reformer and East Kilbride News, and who is supporting the campaign said,
“At a time when the potentially-devastating impact of knife crime is of deep concern to many in our community, this initiative is to be welcomed.
Assistance from the public is vital to the police in their fight against violent crime. Some people afraid of reprisals are often unwilling to give vital information to the police. Crimestoppers allows such people to pass on information anonymously and provides them with an assurance that no one will ask for their name or record their call. I would urge people to use the number. Remember: the information you pass on could avert a crime, solve a crime or even save a life."
Notes to editors:
The campaign will run from Monday 20th June until Monday 1st August.
As a major part of the campaign, promotional material with the Crimestoppers number will be on bin lorries across South Lanarkshire, in addition to a major poster campaign in bus stations and bus shelters.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity, and anyone who provides information on crime will remain anonymous and all calls are treated with the strictest confidence.
Anonymous means that your name is not known or made public. Crimestoppers will never ask for your name. Your call will not be recorded. Your call will not be traced. You will not appear in court. Crimestoppers know that their guarantee to never ask for your name or record your call is vitally important to you. It makes it easier for you to come forward, breaking the silence around criminal activity and removing your fear.
Victim Support Scotland
Victim Support Scotland is the lead voluntary organisation in Scotland helping people affected by crime. It provides emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime. The service is free, confidential and is provided by volunteers through a network of community based victim and youth justice services and court based witness services.
You can contact Victim Support Scotland, by calling 0845 603 9213. The local contact number for South Lanarkshire is 01698 301 111.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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