Residents turn to technology to help police fight crime
9:23am Monday 15th October 2012 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.”