Residents turn to technology to help police fight crime

First published in News

A NEW generation of home watch co-ordinators are being sought to help fight crime in Bolton.

The stereotype of curtain twitching is being challenged as new communication methods such as social media continue to grow.

Police are urging people in Bolton to “do the right thing” and stand up and look out for their community.

Since June this year, 70 new home watch schemes have been set up in the borough.

Superintendent Phil Davies said: “If you are a citizen in Bolton there are certain rights, but responsibilities within that.

“People talk about customer service and we are committed to the service to the public but we are not a service industry, we are an extension to the community.

“We want to see citizens coming forward to look after the town, whatever their background.

“We are particularly looking for people who would not have initially thought they had the time or inclination to get involved.”

Social media has gained a huge following in recent months, and people are able to share and tweet information on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Police use the tool to provide instant updates and want to use that as a vehicle for home watch.

People are able to share or retweet the appeals for information and advice to their friends, family and followers.

Supt Davies said home watch co-ordinators can be as involved as they want.

They do not have to hold meetings, but can be a point of contact to spread information and advice within the community however they choose.

He added: “We use email and text updates and have got into the 21st century communication.

“We have seen a significant increase in Twitter followers.

“We have a responsibility to solve crime and prevent crime, but the community can help us.

“We need to have a two-way conversation with people telling us what is going on so we can deal with it.”

Comments (8)

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10:13am Mon 15 Oct 12

steveG says...

Pioneered nearly thirty years ago the scheme was a gimmick.
I recall our homewatch coordinator following a burglar home who had committed another offence some days earlier.
He rang the Police, explained the situation and was told the Officer who dealt with the original incident was on holiday and could he ring back the following week.
Pioneered nearly thirty years ago the scheme was a gimmick. I recall our homewatch coordinator following a burglar home who had committed another offence some days earlier. He rang the Police, explained the situation and was told the Officer who dealt with the original incident was on holiday and could he ring back the following week. steveG
  • Score: 2

12:28pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Egertonlass says...

If you asked neighbours in the Cox Green Homewatch area if the scheme is 'a gimmick' I think that they would be given a different opinion.
We are luck to be relatively crime free, but the scheme has helped rid our area of nuisance crimes such as cold callers and scrap dealers. We have an ongoing close contact with the Police and especially our local Community Support Team who are always on hand to assist. I would encourage all neighbourhoods to join the scheme. The scheme has really helped to make the area a pleasant and safe place to live.
If you asked neighbours in the Cox Green Homewatch area if the scheme is 'a gimmick' I think that they would be given a different opinion. We are luck to be relatively crime free, but the scheme has helped rid our area of nuisance crimes such as cold callers and scrap dealers. We have an ongoing close contact with the Police and especially our local Community Support Team who are always on hand to assist. I would encourage all neighbourhoods to join the scheme. The scheme has really helped to make the area a pleasant and safe place to live. Egertonlass
  • Score: 1

1:52pm Mon 15 Oct 12

steveG says...

Egertonlass - totally agree.
If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick.
I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers.
Egertonlass - totally agree. If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick. I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers. steveG
  • Score: 1

5:47pm Mon 15 Oct 12

atlas123 says...

Id rather go burgling in Egerton than Breightmet
Id rather go burgling in Egerton than Breightmet atlas123
  • Score: 1

5:48pm Mon 15 Oct 12

jogga7 says...

Bolton have been pioneers in this area for over a year now with the pubwatch schemes moving to solely digital communication
Bolton have been pioneers in this area for over a year now with the pubwatch schemes moving to solely digital communication jogga7
  • Score: 1

10:59pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Egertonlass says...

steveG wrote:
Egertonlass - totally agree.
If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick.
I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers.
We have had our homewatch here for over 6 years and of course we have suffered burglaries in that time. The Police have always pulled out all the stops to help us and having an established rapport with them has made it easier to communicate our problems to them. They always take time to attend our monthly meetings - perhaps you ought to give it a go!
The 'horrors' of cold callers become a reality by the way when it's an elderly person living on their own and the cold caller turns into a conman and enters their house.
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: Egertonlass - totally agree. If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick. I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers.[/p][/quote]We have had our homewatch here for over 6 years and of course we have suffered burglaries in that time. The Police have always pulled out all the stops to help us and having an established rapport with them has made it easier to communicate our problems to them. They always take time to attend our monthly meetings - perhaps you ought to give it a go! The 'horrors' of cold callers become a reality by the way when it's an elderly person living on their own and the cold caller turns into a conman and enters their house. Egertonlass
  • Score: 1

1:12pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Flycatcher says...

all well and good but the chap who is most into the Homewatch type activities in our area is terrorised by yobs and gang members in the Hough area. He reported criminal activities and his actions brought about great results. Sadly having seen the price he pays for his good deeds, and the support he got (ha) I am unwilling to get involved myself. I would report things on the Crimestoppers website but that's about it. I agree in some areas it's a fab idea but when you live as neighbours with the lowlives you are at odds with, perhaps not.
all well and good but the chap who is most into the Homewatch type activities in our area is terrorised by yobs and gang members in the Hough area. He reported criminal activities and his actions brought about great results. Sadly having seen the price he pays for his good deeds, and the support he got (ha) I am unwilling to get involved myself. I would report things on the Crimestoppers website but that's about it. I agree in some areas it's a fab idea but when you live as neighbours with the lowlives you are at odds with, perhaps not. Flycatcher
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Thu 18 Oct 12

PhilipADavies says...

steveG wrote:
Egertonlass - totally agree. If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick. I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers.
No gimmick - talk to us on Bolton East facebook, or speak to your local Beat Officer. We genuinely want people in areas not historically strong in Home Watch to get involved. I want burglars out of Breightmet as much as you do! - Supt Davies.
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: Egertonlass - totally agree. If you wish to rid your area of cold callers and scrap dealers the police will no doubt be only too happy to help,however,if you live in Breightmet and wish to rid your area of burglars then it's a gimmick. I wasn't aware the homewatch scheme was implemented to rid us of the horrors of cold callers and scrap dealers.[/p][/quote]No gimmick - talk to us on Bolton East facebook, or speak to your local Beat Officer. We genuinely want people in areas not historically strong in Home Watch to get involved. I want burglars out of Breightmet as much as you do! - Supt Davies. PhilipADavies
  • Score: 1

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