Work continues in Hart and Rushmoor to reduce crime

posted 30 Jul 2013, 00:31 by Yateley NW Sec

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Officers working in Hart and Rushmoor are undertaking a range of crime prevention initiatives to build on a reduction in crime across the district over the past year.

Crime fell for the sixth year in a row with a reduction in serious violent crime, burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime.

The role that the public plays in keeping crime down is crucial and officers from the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams are working on a range of initiatives to help communities keep themselves safe and avoid becoming victims of crime.

One scheme that has been launched to help prevent doorstep crime in the area is the Nominated Neighbour scheme.

This enables residents to act as a point of contact for vulnerable people within their community.

Under the scheme, if a vulnerable or elderly person receives an unknown caller to their home, they will not answer the door but present a card at their window redirecting the visitor to phone or visit their nominated neighbour's house.

The nominated neighbour will then speak to the visitor to verify the reason for their call, check their identity and confirm whether the visitor is genuine.

If the visit is needed, the neighbour will return to the resident's home with the caller and supervise the visit. The neighbour will not leave until the caller has left.

The Nominated Neighbour is chosen by the resident and could be a relative or friend.

The scheme is supported by Neighbourhood Watch as a useful tool to prevent incidents of distraction burglary and provide reassurance to the community.

Hart and Rushmoor Detective Inspector Darren Barrett, said: "Victims of doorstep crime are often left feeling shocked, distressed and often confused by their experience.

"Genuine callers have nothing to fear and usually expect residents to check their identity before allowing them into their home. Most criminals who prey on the vulnerable and elderly will not want to endure such scrutiny from another person so will often leave rather than face being challenged over their visit.

"We hope the Nominated Neighbour Scheme will support our older and vulnerable members of the community by encouraging them to the seek assistance of a neighbour or family member when dealing with unexpected callers at the door, thus enabling them to feel more confident and in control and ultimately safer in their own homes."

Sue Gibson, Hampshire Constabulary's Force Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, said: "I totally support this initiative which will assist the older and more vulnerable members of our communities in deterring rogue traders and bogus callers. With an active Neighbourhood Watch in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight it is a real pleasure to be able to help in ensuring that residents feel more reassured and that opportunistic criminals realise we are 'watching'!"

The Nominated Neighbour packs are available by contacting your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 101, by clicking on this link or from your local Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator.