Our Doorstep Crime Partnership was the regional winner of the 2010 Tilley Award and in the top ten nationally. The Tilley Awards from the Home Office recognise crime fighting projects where police, community safety groups and the public work together to tackle problems identified by their local communities.
The partnership, involving a number of Warwickshire agencies, was set up in 2007 to reduce the incidence of distraction burglaries in the county in response to high levels of offences being reported to the Police – average 125 a year. At this time Trading Standards were recording substatantial ‘rogue trader’ incidents and got together with Warwickshire Police to tackle the growing problem.
They put together a crime prevention pack known as the ‘yellow box’ which has since been distributed to well over 14,000 people through home helps, carers, housing associations, hospital discharge units, mobile libraries and charities. The packs contain information and advice on a range of safety issues on anything from fire safety in the home to scam watching.
An extension of the project was the setting up of No Rogue Trader Zones using shared information from Trading Standards and the Police to identify suitable areas of the county. In the last 3 years the project has been running the average number of reported crimes has reduced by over 40 per cent to 74 offences per year. For the first 6 months of 2011 the figure was down to 13, an average of just 2 offences per month!
We’re evaluating the project looking at the potential savings made to agencies by reducing such crime. It is difficult to calculate as there are no Home Office figures for distraction burglary but using the dwelling burglary figure of £3268, over the 3 years there were potential savings of £673,208. However benefits to the community are much greater than this saving, for example, there are far less people who were victims of such crimes and far less people who have had their fear of crime raised.
We don’t assume this is solely down to the project as there are so many other factors that could have played a part, but it has made a difference. We feel that the constant education of the people that fall into the vulnerable group is valued activity.
We’re review the contents of the yellow box to bring it up to date with the most relevant information for residents and are looking to include more information on the different types of scams being targeted at the same group and the different support services available. We are also looking at the way the yellow boxes are distributed as agencies change the services they provide and how their staff operate.
The yellow boxes are still available, to request a copy or for further information about the project contact Martyn Stephens firstname.lastname@example.org from WCC Community Safety Team or Marie Rowland email@example.com at WCC Trading Standards.