10-11 March
Violence Prevention: from global perspectives to national action Location: Liverpool This major conference, sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Violence Prevention Alliance, aims to promote a multi-agency approach to violence prevention in the UK. It brings together international and national expertise on a wide range of violence prevention issues. For further information visit or call Andrea Hutchinson on 0151 231 4387

crime reduction news

Previous issue

To obtain copies of back issues of CRN call 0870 241 4680, fax 0870 241 4786 or email Please give your name, address and job title, as well as specifying which issue you would like.

● Prostitution in focus – finding

15 March

The Future of Policing: Exploring the Extended Police Family Location: University of Leicester This conference will focus on the implications of such the expanding police family, looking at issues such as: the level of police control; the role the extended police family partners; use of skills and effective partnerships; the role of the private security industry. For more information call 0116 2217775, email

solutions to help those involved in prostitution ● ISSPs – Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programmes get tough on causes of crime ● Sporting chances – giving youngsters a stake in their community through sport ● Illegal money lending – tough measures take the loan sharks to task

BEST SUPPORTING ROLE Sexual Assault Referral Centres in focus THE SPECIALISTS Pushing the boundaries of science and technology


5 April

● Race crime – creating an equal

Community Cohesion: 1005 and Beyond Location: Savoy Place (IEE), London This one-day conference will examine the Governmentwide Community Cohesion and Race Equality strategy and the implications of other key developments. It will also consider the development of effective relationships between national and local government. For more information contact

society free from raciallymotivated crime ● Student victimisation – Lessons on how to keep crime down on campus ● Violent crime – time to take a tough stance on violence ● Persistent offenders – new measures to break the cycle of crime among prolific offenders

7 June

JUNE 2004
● Alcohol and crime – tackling

Meeting Drug Treatment Needs: Innovative Strategies for Quality, Accessible Services Location: London Drug treatment agencies, healthcare professionals, Drug Action Teams, commissioners and service providers will convene to look at innovative strategies to reduce drug addiction and improve treatment. Call 020 7324 4330 or email

Contact If you have been involved in a project that
other practitioners could learn from, please get in touch. Email us at: or write to us at: Crime Reduction News, 76-80 Southwark Street, London SE1 0PN

the rise in alcohol-fuelled street crime ● Partnership power – the importance of working with community partners ● Organised crime – tough new measures to stamp out organised crime ● Women offenders – the reduction of female prisoners in focus

Looking ahead
Tackling drugs: cleaning up communities and helping offenders face a drug-free future

Back issues are also available online. Visit www.crimereduction.

MAR 2005






Drugs destroy the lives of users, cause crime and fear of crime in local communities and undermine the very fabric of society. It is a global problem that requires tough international and domestic law enforcement while effective practical solutions are needed to help users break the destructive habit and communities feel safe. In this issue’s Special Report we look at the strategies that are in place to tackle drugs and find out how Drug Testing and Treatment Orders are helping users rebuild their lives. Victims of sexual crimes need help to rebuild their lives, too. We hear how the safe and supportive environment of Sexual Assault Referal Centres (SARCs) is helping victims face up to their ordeal and bring perpetrators of crime to justice. In addition, we look at the effective campaigns that are helping youngsters enjoy the freedom of mobile phone technology without falling victim to crime and hear about the cutting-edge work of the Police Scientific Development Branch who help to crack crime and keep frontline officers one step ahead of criminal activity. The Crime Reduction News team



Securing a safer

night-time economy


LDMs improve communication

News 3 4 5 6 7 8 22
Protecting the night-time economy Cleaner, safer communities Cartoon thieves in PR campaign Sustainable Communities Award Operation Crackdown SOCA takes shape Volunteering update

Features 8 16 17 18
Leading the way Sexual Assault Referral Centres help victims of sexual crimes Taking stock A Yorkshire community strikes back to prevent cattle rustling Back to the beat Effective neighbourhood policing We have the technology… How cutting-edge technology is helping to crack crime Safe and sound Targeted mobile phone initiatives are helping youngsters stay safe A boost for safer communities New How to Guides and Academy days get tough on troubled town centres

Plus... 11-14 Special report

Regulars 10 15
How to... ...reduce robbery Comment Counselling helps to prevent drink-related offending

20 21

Tackling drugs
● ● ●

Cleaning up communities, improving lives Tough new laws and Government action Long-term solutions to stop reoffending

● Case studies of users seeking help



2 Crime Reduction News


The recent extension of late-night drinking laws has brought the problem of alcohol-related disorder and crime to the public arena, provoking strong reactions from communities and officers on the front line. To address the issue, the Home Office announced a consultation on Responsible Drinking (see www.home, which will result in the introduction of new powers to crack down on alcohol-related offences. Conclusions from the consulation process are now being drawn and night-time economy (NTE) guidance will be published at the end of March. To help practictioners tackle the problem the Home Office has also produced a series of key points to help crime and disorder reduction partnerships tackle crime and disorder problems.

The key points give wide-ranging advice, such as using dispersal orders for areas where there are persistent anti-social behaviour problems and also targeting patrols of Special Constables, CSOs and wardens at peak demand. It also advises discouraging premises from running happy hours and irresponsible drink promotions, and says regular visits to licensed premises running regular promotions like this should be carried out. For more information on tackling alcohol-related crime and disorder see the report Violent Crime – Tackling Violent Crime in the Night-Time Economy at For copies of Lessons from the Summer 2004 Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign email:

Four local delivery managers were appointed last spring to improve the working relationship between the Home Office and agencies in four key areas around the country. Angela McGuiness (Bradford), Amobi Modu (Nottingham), Louise Dominian (Hammersmith and Fulham) and Linda Derrick (Manchester and Salford) spend half of their time in their areas, working with the agencies that are connected to Home Office projects, such as the police, local authorities, the voluntary sector and crime and disorder reduction partnerships. “An important part of it is communicating better,” said Greg Dyche, the former project manager. “The communication needs to go in both directions.” A fifth local delivery manager is being appointed to work on various Home Office and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister projects with agencies in East Lancashire. A conference was held last month to bring the managers, Home Office staff and representatives from the different agencies in the four areas up to date on what has happened so far and what the plan is for the future.

Crime Reduction News 3




Crime keeps falling
Total crime
BCS crime is down 11 per cent. Police recorded crime is down six per cent.

Something to shout about
The Home Office’s Acquisitive Crime Reduction Campaign saw actors dressed up as cartoon thieves hammering the message home at railway stations during morning and evening rush hour. Using megaphones they urged commuters to keep the temptations of newly acquired Christmas presents (mobiles, laptops, iPods, etc) hidden. The activity was focused in the ten Street Crime Initiative Areas. The leaflet that supports the Acquisitive Crime Reduction Campaign, ‘Keep it Hidden. Keep it Safe. Keep it Locked’, is available to order, free of charge. It contains advice and tips on how to reduce the risk of robbery, burglary and vehicle crime. For copies telephone Prolog on 0870 241 4680, quoting ACR1 or ACR1W (Welsh version).

A better deal for victims and witnesses
Measures to encourage victims and witnesses to give evidence at court were announced by Constitutional Affairs Secretary Lord Falconer in December. They include ensuring that by 2008 all Crown Court buildings and 90 per cent of magistrates’ courts have separate witness facilities for victims and prosecution witnesses. Video links will also be made available to 75 per cent of magistrates’ courts and increased to 27 in Crown Court centres. The use of special measures such as video links to protect witnesses in anti-social behaviour cases will also be extended. The propopals form part of a broader Strategic Plan for Criminal Justice. For more information visit: strategy/index.htm

rime in England and Wales continues to fall, according to the latest findings of the British Crime Survey published in January. The survey reports that the the risk of being a victim of crime, at 25 per cent, is the lowest in more than 20 years. Overall, crime fell by 11 per cent in the year ending September 2004, compared with the previous year. Police recorded crime figures dropped six per cent in the period July-September 2004 as compared with the same quarter in the previous year.


Gun crime
Fall of five per cent in serious injuries. Fall of nine per cent in threats. Fall of 15 per cent in use of handguns. Increase of five per cent in overall firearms offences.

Domestic burglary
BCS fell by ten per cent.* Police recorded crime fell 23 per cent.

Vehicle crime
BCS fall of 14 per cent. Police recorded vehicle crime fall of 17 per cent.

Encouraging results The drop in crime figures is part of a long-term trend that began in the mid-1990s. Violent crime, for example, has fallen 36 per cent since its peak in 1995. Police recorded violent crime increased by six per cent over the last year, reflecting the better recording of domestic violence, sex offences and ‘low level’ thuggery and the police service’s increased compliance with new recording standards. There was a five per cent drop in serious injuries caused by firearms, and a 15 per cent fall in the use of handguns. However, firearms offences rose by five per cent. Home Office Minister Hazel Blears was encouraged by the latest figures that show a continuing reduction in crime levels and the fear of crime in local communities: “We know from recent research from business crime and youth victimisation that patterns of crime reflect patterns shown in the British Crime Survey and that the Government’s prolific and priority offender strategy is targeting the offenders that cause the most damage to their communities.”

Police recorded crime fall of 18 per cent.

Victimisation rate Violent crime
BSC fall of nine per cent.* Police recorded increase of six per cent. There have been significant changes to the way violent crime is recorded by the police, with recording changes in 2002 adding 23 per cent to recorded crime figures. Much of what is recorded as violent crime involves little or no physical injury to the victim. The BCS shows the risk of being a victim of crime remains historically low at 25 per cent.
*Not statistically significant, so stable

Taking crime in hand
As part of the Acquisitive Crime Reduction campaign a life-size mock ‘hand’, was distributed to three million households in 15 high burglary areas in January 2005. The impactful style is designed to be a novel way to alert householders to the potential threat of thieves ‘fishing’ keys and other valuables through letterboxes and to highlight the importance of keeping your home secure. In response to interest from Crime Reduction Officers (CROs) and other regional stakeholders, further copies of The Hand for CROs and crime reduction practitioners are being printed to use in local door-to-door campaigns. From 11 March copies will be available from Prolog on 0870 241 4680 (code ACH).To access Acquisitive Crime Reduction campaign resources visit

New offence now in force
From March, causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult is an offence under the Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act. This new offence will ensure that those co-accused of the death of a child or vulnerable adult do not escape justice when they remain silent or blame each other. By taking action in this area the Government aims to provide a valuable enforcement tool to ensure offenders can be brought to justice. This will help to raise public confidence in the justice system. Diana Symonds of the Home Office Criminal Policy Unit said: “The new offence establishes a new criminal responsibility for members of a household where they know that a child or vulnerable adult is at significant risk of serious harm. It will help to ensure that offenders who remain silent or blame each other do not escape justice.” The offence will carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Sustainable Communities Awards 2004
Projects and initiatives which demonstrate active community involvement and contribute to making local communities better places to live and work have been acknowledged in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Award for Sustainable Communities. This year saw a record 256 nominations and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the nominations were of a “very high standard”. The winner, Grange Park Community Project in Blackpool, was announced at the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester in February. For more information about the awards and the winning projects visit:

CDA review
In November 2004, the Government announced a formal review of the partnership provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The key aim was to make CDRPs the most effective possible vehicle for tackling crime, anti-social behaviour and substance misuse in local communities. The review was carried out jointly with the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities and the Local Government Association, with substantial stakeholder involvement throughout. Over 450 stakeholders, practitioners and local delivery partners attended four workshops held in Birmingham, Cardiff, London and Sheffield. Home Office Ministers will be considering the review’s conclusions in early February. For more details, please see www.crime

Cleaner, safer communities
A raft of measures to clean up local communities and tackle anti-social behaviour was set out by the Government in December during the second reading of its Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill. The Bill is an important part of the Government’s plan to create cleaner, safer and greener communities. Low-level offending, such as the daubing of graffiti, creates neighbourhoods which become run down and these areas often fall victim to more serious crime. Dereliction and anti-social behaviour make people feel ill-at-ease and unsafe. Margaret Beckett, Minister for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that the measures were in response to requests from local communities. “This is a practical Bill that was brought forward following requests from local authorities, and will go a long way to help them and other agencies tackle the problem.” Visit: www.defra. news/latest/2005/localenv-0107.htm

4 Crime Reduction News


Crime Reduction News 5



Operation Crack Down Making an IMPACT on intelligenceled policing
The IMPACT Programme – a joint approach by the Home Office, ACPO and the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) – is paving the way for accessible, intelligence-led policing in England and Wales. IMPACT (Information Management, Prioritisation, Analysis, Co-ordination and Tasking) is designed to deliver on key recommendations made by last year’s Bichard Inquiry, offering a range of capabilities that contribute to a national IT infrastructure and nationwide intelligence-led policing. It builds on existing systems such as the Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) and the Police National Computer (PNC), as well as local and regional information systems. It will also support the National Intelligence Model and Information Systems Strategy for the Police Service (ISS4PS). This first stage began in January 2005 with a pilot of the National Nominal Index (NNI) – a ‘technology demonstrator’ that provides a way of searching an index of local systems and other forces’ systems to identify where information on an individual is held. As IMPACT evolves, officers will be able to search on objects (including vehicles, phone numbers and property), locations and events (such as crimes and incidents) from all force and national systems, using a range of tools to support intelligence-led policing – searching, analysis, tasking, briefing, de-briefing and data management. The full IMPACT capability will be made available progressively between 2005 and 2007. To find out more visit the PITO website At the beginning of January, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office began a new, joint, three-month campaign to reduce the number of crack houses operating, bring more class A drug suppliers to justice and reduce the number of illegal firearms on the streets. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gave police new powers to close crack houses, bringing an end to the anti-social behaviour that communities suffer where they exist. Operation Crack Down builds upon successful use of the powers so far and drives home the message that drug dealing and activities associated with it will be challenged at every opportunity. The new powers enable police to serve notices against a crack house or drug den that restricts use of the premises to the owner and residents only. Following a court hearing, held within 48 hours, the premises is sealed and treatment and other help is offered to vulnerable residents and those who used the premises for drug use. Over 150 crack houses have been shut down since the powers were first introduced in January 2004. As part of their operations against local class A drug markets, police have enhanced powers to seize the assets of drug dealers. Firearms, where they feature as part of the local drug market, will be seized and those in possession of firearms face tough penalties. Police will be distributing information leaflets among local communities where they have closed premises and carried out drug raids to reassure them that they are taking tough action against drug dealing in their area.

Citizen Focus Conference



A round-up
of crime reduction tools currently available
Domestic violence
Developing Domestic Violence Strategies – A Guide for Partnerships helps partnership authorities develop strategies to tackle, monitor and evaluate domestic violence, giving examples of good practice and suggesting how partnerships might be co-ordinated. For a copy, visit:

Bureaucracy-busting ideas wanted
Officers and police staff are being encouraged to come up with more ideas and suggestions about how to beat bureaucracy for this year’s ‘Bureaucracy Busting Awards’, sponsored by the Home Office and the Police Federation. If you’ve got a bright idea that will help to cut down on paperwork and inefficient working practices and put more officers back on the streets, visit There, you’ll find a template for the awards which you will need to fill in and return. All the suggestions we receive will be considered by the Police Federation and the Home Office. If accepted, they will then be put forward to the judging panel to be considered for an award. The closing date for suggestions is 31 March 2005.

Improving customer service and the experiences of victims and witnesses were the key themes of the first national Citizen Focused Policing Conference held in London on 12 January 2005. The event brought together more than 300 delegates from police forces, police authorities, local Criminal Justice Boards, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and local authorities from across the UK. Speakers included Home Office ministers Hazel Blears and Baroness Scotland, ACPO President Chris Fox and Association of Police Authorities Chairman, Baroness Ruth Henig. Delegates took part in a workshop on the National Quality of Service Commitment and discussed the ways in which the commitment was being implemented.

Small business crime
Tackling crimes against small businesses: Lessons from the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas Initiative draws on evidence from the Small Retailers in Deprived Areas (SRDA) initiative to provide guidelines for practitioners working to increase the security and viability of small businesses. The SRDA was established in 2001 and provided £15 million funding in a three-year programme to strengthen the security of small businesses in 10 per cent of the most deprived wards in England and Wales. In total, over 12,500 businesses received assistance under the scheme. It offers key good practice lessons on a wide range of areas including: • Targeting – a problem-solving approach • Business involvement • Thinking through interventions • Implementation • Sustainability and ongoing support To obtain a copy, visit www.crime

Forces tune in to Airwave technology
The new Airwave digital communication service will signal a new era of reliable and effective police communication. Costing an estimated £2.3 billion, Airwave is one of the largest national police radio system in existence, and technologically highly advanced. The rollout of Airwave to all forces in England, Wales and Scotland by the end of April 2005 is a key milestone in the National Policing Plan 2004-07 and supports the aims of the Police Science and Technology strategy 2004-09. The rollout has been managed by the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) and the mobile telecommunication supplier Airwave mmO2. Based on the European TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) standard designed for emergency service use, the Airwave service is not a simple replacement for the older radio systems. It provides secure communication through an encrypted digital network, vastly improved area coverage and sound quality and the ability to send data as well as voice transmissions. For example, officers are able to access records held on the Police National Computer and the Scottish Criminal Record Office while away from the station. In time Airwave will also allow officers across the length and breadth of Great Britain to communicate directly with each other across force boundaries. Previous police radio networks were based on individual forces and officers could not communicate with their counterparts on the other side of the force boundary.

Victims and witnesses update
This year sees improvements to victim and witness care throughout the Criminal Justice System. The Victim and Witness Delivery Toolkits build on The Victim and Witness Delivery Plan, distributed in October 2004, setting out how practitioners will be expected to work towards the targets of the forthcoming Victims Code of Practice. The Delivery Toolkits have been developed by Victims Unit to support practitioners and Local Criminal Justice Boards. The Victims Code of Practice and Code of Practice 'Rough Guide' will be published in December 2005, replacing the Victims Charter and giving victims statutory rights for the first time. For more information, contact your LCJB Victim and Witness Lead Officer, or Patsy Holland in the Victims Unit on 0207 273 2375

6 Crime Reduction News


To order materials, visit uk/publicitycatalogue, email homeoffice@ or phone 0870 241 4680


Crime Reduction News 7



Leading the way with

SARCs support
n the initial hours and days after a rape or sexual assault, the majority of victims are barely functioning. Many victims are so shocked or numbed by their ordeal, they are often unable to cope with getting themselves dressed or making a meal, let alone reporting the offence to the police. Yet what happens in the initial hours after an attack can make all the difference in securing a conviction, and also in minimising the trauma and distress felt by the victim and their family. That’s where Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) come in. SARCs provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for victims, offering all the advice, support, counselling and medical attention that they need. A recent Home Office report on SARCs concluded that as well as providing victims with a very high standard of care, the provision of a dedicated site for rape victims also led to a high standard of evidence gathering and forensic reports. Jackie Clark, manager of the Rape Examination Advice Counselling Help (REACH) centre in Newcastle, is not surprised. “Before the creation of our SARC, it was absolutely dreadful,” she says. “Rape victims would come in and we’d be scrabbling around trying to find a doctor with the specialist skills and sensitivity we needed. There were also issues about getting female doctors. So the first thing


we did when we began our service in 1986 was to find a specialist team of doctors that included dedicated female doctors that were committed to this type of work.” Getting the right staff only provided a partial solution. The next problem was finding an appropriate location where victims could be taken for their medical examination. “We basically ended up going wherever the doctors told us to, so sometimes it was the hospital and sometimes it would be a police station,” says Jackie. “Apart from increasing the trauma for the victim, this also led to a number of cross-contamination issues with the forensic evidence, because frequently the medical examinations weren’t conducted in a sterile environment.” In 1991, REACH – which runs two SARCs in Northumbria – finally acquired enough funding for its own dedicated centre. Now, if someone has been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, there is no doubt about where they should go or what should happen.

Building evidence
Another key component of the success of SARCs is their emphasis on providing victims with information and giving them choices at every step of the way. Current estimates suggest that just 15 per cent of rapes and sexual assaults are being reported to the police. Often, victims are initially too traumatised, or can’t face the prospect of having to relive their ordeal in court. As a result, many SARCs are equipped to take forensic evidence anonymously, without requiring victims to report the crime to the police. Shell-shocked victims receive the care and counselling they need, while the forensic evidence is on file and can be used to secure a conviction in the event that the victim reports the crime in the future. This ‘anonymous’ evidence can also help police to build up a picture of serial rapists, even where all of the victims aren’t officially reporting their attacks – Antoni Imiela, the M25 rapist, was caught and convicted in this way. “Northumbria has very good convictions statistics for rape compared with many other areas,” says Jackie. “I put that down to the fact that we have SARCs here that are providing a very good level of care.” There are currently just 13 centres in the UK, with most SARCs being funded through local agreements between the police and health authorities. But the demand is certainly there, and the Government would like to see more SARCs being set up in the future. To this end, central government is providing some funding for 2005-2006 to help local areas, agencies and CDRPs to set up and run a new SARC, or enable existing SARCs to expand their services. “In Newcastle, we’re getting referrals from all over the country,” says Jackie. “In many cases, I don’t know where to send them because if a service isn’t there, you can’t refer people on to it.” SARCs clearly have a vital role to play. crn

SARCs provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for victims, offering all the advice, support, counselling and medical attention that they need

Partnership power
Local partnerships are crucial to the success of these centres. As well as being the place where police take victims of rape to, victims are refered to SARCs by health services and voluntary sector organisations. “These centres provide a consistent service to victims,” says Jackie. “People have different needs at different times. In the immediate aftermath, they may need medical care, STI screening, emergency contraception, counselling, forensic examination and legal advice. But if they are barely functioning, they might also need help to get some shopping in or to take their kids to school. Because we have good links with the local authority, health services and police, we can ensure that whatever they need, we can find a way to provide it.”

When St Mary’s in Manchester was established in 1986, it was the first centre of its kind to provide co-ordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to victims of rape and sexual assault. It also provides support through the criminal justice process. To date, the hospital-based centre has provided services to around 9,500 people, including men, women of all ages and children over the age of 11. The Rowan Centre in Walsall, West Midlands first opened its doors for business in June 2004. The centre is run on a day-to-day basis by staff from CRISIS POINT, a local counselling organisation, and is being funded by CRISIS POINT, Walsall Teaching PCT, the Police and the Safer Walsall Borough Partnership Board. The Home Office provided the centre with a grant to help with start-up costs. While the police fund any forensic examinations, counselling services are provided by CRISIS POINT volunteers. The centre also operates a 24-hour fast-track system into the nearby clinic where victims can be screened for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

| Contact For more information visit|For

details of the Home Office report into the work of SARCs visit
Crime Reduction News 9

8 Crime Reduction News


A multi-faceted approach
There is no single way to reduce robbery as the offence can vary quite considerably. The response will need to differ too. “For instance,” says the guide, “robberies occurring in or around commuter trains or buses at night require a wholly different response to those involving schoolaged children in the late afternoon. Identifying these different sub-sets of the robbery problem is therefore crucial in developing an effective and sustainable response to the problem.” To reflect this, the guide is divided into a number of different parts offering best practice and advice on: ● student robbery ● robbery of school-aged children ● robbery at cash machines ● public transport and street crime ● robbery and problem drug use ● bag snatches from elderly women ● commercial robbery ● mobile phone robbery. Marcial also points out that the perpetrators of robbery fall into two categories – young people committing robbery against their peers and adults resorting to robbery to fund drug use. This will also determine how each individual crime should be tackled effectively.


Tackling drugs

● Between April 2002 and

Reduce robbery
roblem-solving street crime – practical lessons from the Street Crime Initiative is a recently published guide which has been specifically designed to be user-friendly and to provide the latest information and best practice needed to reduce robbery. Marcial Bóo, head of the Acquisitive Crime Team, says he hopes the guide will be the first port of call for anyone who has a particular problem with robbery and who wants to know the best way of dealing with it in an effective way. “I hope this document will become a reference bible for the next two to three years on how to reduce robbery. “It collects best practice from around the country and has all that we know about how to tackle robbery. “It should be an invaluable fund of knowledge and expertise for frontline staff.” The guide has been sent out to police forces and other organisations, and workshops have been held in a number of locations to offer help and advice as to the best way of using the guide. There are several key areas of the guide which stresses the need for several approaches to tackling robbery.

Problem-solving approach
Any work to tackle robbery should have a strong problem-solving approach which needs to start with an accurate definition of the problem. All efforts should be consistent with the National Intelligence Model. The guide includes a street crime problem-solving checklist to take you through the various stages: ● From scanning to analysis ● From analysis to response ● From response to assessment ● From assessment to lesson-learning.


Investing in a drug-free future R

The importance of evaluation
Making sure you carry out an evaluation of any initiative is important in order to improve future work. Previous mistakes can be avoided and truly effective work can be recognised. Just as there may be work for which unwarranted claims are being made, so it is likely that effective and innovative work is currently going unacknowledged because evidence for its usefulness has not been properly assembled. Projects and their evaluations need to be written up and written in a truthful way, stressing both achievements and difficulties in order to make them credible. It can also help to have your findings reviewed by a colleague or peer to guard against errors. crn

educing the harm caused by illegal drugs is one of the Government’s top priorities. Since 1998 and the launch of the National Drug Strategy there have been considerable successes thanks to a raft of initiatives and programmes supported by £1.5 billion of government funding. Illegal drugs are being seized and dealers tackled. Class A drug misuse by young people has stabilised, over 50,000 more people are in treatment and waiting times are down. Drug-related crime is falling. However, much more needs to be done. The harm caused by taking drugs must never be underestimated. It damages the health and ruins the lives of individuals; it undermines family life; it turns law-abiding citizens into criminals who steal to fund their habits, including from their own parents and family. The costs to society are enormous. Tackling drug misuse is a challenge at both a worldwide and at a local community level. It is a complex problem and requires integrated solutions and co-ordinated delivery of services involving education, health and social care, intelligence and enforcement, and economic policy. Throughout March 2005, Ministers, government officials and leading practitioners are all joining together to run a unique set of events in regions across the country. The events will be a first rate source of the latest best practice, policy development and information exchange on delivering the drug strategy. A few places are left – see below for booking details.

December 2003, 26,079kg of cocaine and 11,044kg of heroin were seized and over 330 organised crime groups disrupted. ● Over 50,000 more people are in drug treatment. The drug treatment workforce has expanded to 9,000 – an increase of 50 per cent since 2002. Waiting times are at their lowest ever. ● Drug related deaths are down by 4 per cent between 2001 and 2002 and are now at their lowest level since 1998. ● Crime, and the fear of crime, has fallen. Between April 2003 and June 2004, there was a fall in England and Wales of 12.9 per cent in recorded acquisitive crime, to which drugrelated crime makes a significant contribution. ● Focusing efforts against Class A drugs by reclassifying cannabis. Arrests for cannabis possession have fallen by 30 per cent since reclassification, enabling police time to focus on Class A drugs. ● The Drug Interventions Programme is now in place in 66 high crime areas. This means 5,000 offenders being tested each month for Class A drugs and, over 1,500 offenders a month entering treatment.

Contact To download a free copy of the guide Problem-solving street crime – practical lessons from the Street
10 Crime Reduction News

Crime Initiative go to:

Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives events are being run regionally (Cambridge, 8 March; London, 9 March; Manchester, 14 March; Harrogate, 17 March; Birmingham, 21 March; Newcastle, 23 March). Events are free and offer the opportunity to get up to speed in what is working locally, put questions directly to Government and help shape future priorities.To book, call 0207 261 8400 or email


Crime Reduction News 11


In the spotlight:
drug-misusing offenders
he Drug Interventions Programme is a critical part of the Government’s strategy for tackling drugs. Until September 2004, it was known as the Criminal Justice Interventions Programme. It began as a three-year programme to assist drug-misusing offenders out of crime and into treatment. The programme, believed to be a world-first, involves criminal justice and treatment agencies working with other services to provide a tailored solution for adults, particularly those who misuse Class A drugs, who commit crime to fund their drug misuse. Special measures for young people are being implemented. Delivery at a local level is through Drug Action Teams, using integrated teams with a case-management approach to offer access to treatment and support. This begins at an offender’s first point of contact with the criminal justice system through custody, court, sentence and beyond into resettlement. Key partners to the Home Office are the criminal justice agencies such as the police, prisons, probation officers and the courts, along with the Department of Health, the National Treatment Agency and treatment service providers and those who provide linked services such as housing and job-seeker support.




● Burglary, robbery and

Tough new measures N
ovember 2004 saw the Government announce an ambitious programme of action to crack down further on the harm that drugs cause to individuals, families and communities. Its report, ‘Tackling Drugs. Changing Lives. Keeping Communities Safe from Drugs’, outlines a renewed drive to tackle the scourge of Class A drugs and shows the progress made since the Government published its drug strategy in 1998, updated in 2002. Prime Minister Tony Blair also announced tough measures to tackle drug dealers and offer more support to users. The Prime Minister said that the measures aim to break the link between drugs and crime. “If you are a drug addict engaged in crime, you will be offered a way out through treatment and help. If you refuse that offer, it will be made more difficult for you at every stage in the criminal justice system.” The package of measures includes provision for the expansion of routes into treatment for vulnerable young people by requiring young offenders to attend drug treatment as part of a community sentence. The Government’s Drug Interventions Programme, which already sees more than 1,500 offenders entering treatment each month, will be expanded to 32 new areas from April 2005, so that by 2008 around 1,000 offenders will be entering treatment each week through this route. These measures will be supported by new legislation including: ● Giving police powers to test for drugs on arrest for trigger offences rather than charge, so that more people who commit crime to finance their drug habit can be directed into treatment ● A new evidential presumption that those caught in possession of more drugs than reasonable for personal use are guilty of intent to supply

● Making dealing near a school or

vehicle crime fell by 12.9 per cent between April 2003 and June 2004. Drug-related crime contributes to these crimes. ● Some 10,000 offenders entered treatment through the Drug Interventions Programme in the first 18 months of the programme (April 2003 to December 2004). ● Crime is falling faster in the areas with the Drug Interventions Programme, such as Bradford where crime has fallen 33 per cent.

using children as couriers an aggravating factor for sentencing so drug dealers found guilty of this would face a tougher penalty ● Issuing a drug counselling order along with an anti-social behaviour order to deal with drug-misusing adults. In addition, Operation Crack Down, a joint three-month campaign spearheaded by the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers, is targeting crack houses, drug dealing and the supply of class A drugs, and helping to reduce the number of illegal guns on the streets. The campaign builds on the new powers extended to police to tackle drug dens under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Since the powers were introduced in January 2004, more than 150 crack houses have been shut down, sending a clear message to communities that drugs will no longer be tolerated.

A key strand of the Government’s Updated Drug Strategy 2002 is to prevent today’s young people from becoming tomorrow’s problematic drug users. The Drug Interventions Programme’s pilots for young people contribute at various points of the youth justice system: identifying children and young people who have, or are at risk of developing, substance misuse problems; assessing their needs; and directing them to support and treatment services. The pilots for children and young people are designed to give a child or young a person-centred and holistic approach to their problems. Education is a key weapon in the campaign against drugs. Blueprint is a Home Office research programme designed to evaluate the effectiveness of school-based drug education. It involves five specially-devised lessons, supported by work involving parents, the community, health workers and the local media. The programme is being delivered in 23 schools, with a further six acting as a comparison sample, in the North West and East Midlands of England. Full results of the research will be available in 2007, although the intention is to use the experience of the programme to inform practice in the interim.

The Restriction on Bail provision was introduced under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This provision amended the Bail Act 1976 by reversing the presumption of bail for defendants who test positive for specified Class A drugs, and who fulfil the other necessary conditions for the provision to apply. The provision provides an opportunity for drug-misusing defendants to engage in treatment, by restricting access to court bail if they refuse a drug assessment and any follow-up treatment proposed. The provision has been piloted in Nottingham, Salford and Manchester. The provision has now been extended to cover up to 45 new Drug Action Team areas by April 2005. Eleven of these went live in January: Nottingham County, Wirral, Oldham, Tameside, Trafford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, NE Lincolnshire, Sefton and Doncaster. Across the three pilot areas only 20 defendants were remanded in custody for breaching the provisions.

● Treatment is not a soft option: drug-related

community orders imposed by the courts usually involve a strict monitoring regime. ● Treatment should be based on an assessment of needs, with a wide range of evidence-based treatment responses such as methadone prescribing, counselling and group work. ● Measures for children and young people cover a wide spectrum. This ranges from prevention and early intervention for those at risk of escalating problems of substance-related offending to more intensive work with individuals who have complex problems related to substance misuse and crime.

Contact ‘Tackling Drugs. Changing Lives. Keeping Communities Safe from Drugs’ is available at:
12 Crime Reduction News


Contact A website for young people offering information and advice about drugs and their effects is at The website offers free, confidential information by phone and email
Crime Reduction News 13



Counselling schemes help alcohol offenders
Professor Douglas Sharp, Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Policy and Research at the University of Central England, explains the benefits of alcohol referral schemes


GETTY. These case studies are based on research conducted by Addaction in 2004. All details were correct at the time of interview. Interviewees’ names have been changed to protect their identity.

Breaking the cycle of crime

Laura started smoking at 12 and over the years she has used heroin, cocaine, crack, amphetamines, diazepam, temazepam, methadone and marijuana. She has also had a drink problem. Laura was first arrested, for chequebook and credit-card fraud, at the age of 23. She was using heroin, crack and cocaine and her memory of her community service is vague. She has also been in prison numerous times and says, “It frightened the life out of me.” Her experiences in prison made her vow to change her life, but she didn’t know how to. Laura did a stint in a rehabilitation unit that failed after about six weeks. She started treatment during a six-month sentence two years ago but relapsed. Laura has been on a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO*) for seven months, with another five months to go. The court order requires strict attendance at a local treatment centre for treatment and drug testing, overseen by probation officers with frequent reviews by the magistrates. It’s the first programme that Laura’s been on that has worked and she has received help in getting onto a college course. Laura says: “I wanted to change my life every time I got arrested. I couldn’t because I didn’t know how. This is the first order that I have had that’s worked.”

*DTTOs are being phased out in the spring and replaced by a generic community sentence with a menu of drug treatment-related conditions that magistrates can tailor more closely to individual circumstances

Mel began smoking cannabis at the age of 14, taking LSD at 15 and using heroin at 21. He had been arrested at least 20 times before he started taking heroin, and was sent to prison for the first time when he was 17. Mel committed a number of crimes to pay for drugs. Although he stopped taking drugs in prison, he would start using again as soon as he was released. Caught in a cycle of drug misuse, crime and arrest, he was never out of prison for more than six weeks at a time. After completing a two-year sentence, he was arrested for theft, remanded and placed under a DTTO. Mel says, “This is the first time I got help. I finished the DTTO, am drug-free and have a job.”

Jake started sniffing aerosols at the age of eight. By the age of 10, he and his friends were smoking cannabis and, by 13, Jake was taking LSD, speed, amphetamines, mushrooms and diazepam. At 14 he had progressed to taking heroin. While he was taking drugs, Jake got convictions for ABH and GBH. He funded his drug-taking by burgling houses and shops, and he has been arrested around 40 times for burglary.

Fifteen years of taking drugs
In 1998 Jake was sentenced to three years in prison. He came off drugs and managed to stay clean up to and beyond his release in August 1999. Then in 2000 he was imprisoned for possession of cannabis with intent to supply. While he was in prison, his wife divorced him and he started using heroin again. Jake started a DTTO in September 2003. While on the DTTO, he has managed to deal with the things in his life that trigger him to take drugs. He says: “I’m starting to work myself out and get some self respect and some pride.” Now Jake would like to become a drugs counsellor. “I’ve had 15 years’ experience of taking drugs and in prison I helped people. I was a listener. I want to start giving back.”

ocal alcohol agencies and crime reduction partnerships are working together in the Midlands to help alcoholrelated offenders break binge drinking patterns of behaviour and reduce the risk of crime. The pilot schemes in Dudley and Worcester, spearheaded by alcohol agencies Aquarius and the Hereford and Worcester Advisory Service on Alcohol (HWASA), offer those arrested for alcohol-related offences the opportunity to attend two sessions with an alcohol counsellor. Professor Douglas Sharp, a former Chief Superintendent, conducted evaluation research into the pilot referral schemes. “Offenders are introduced to the scheme upon arrest,” says Professor Sharp. “After their first court appearance the case should be adjourned to allow them to make two visits to the alcohol agency. During those visits, offenders receive information, counselling and advice on the effects of alcohol and ways to modify their drinking behaviour. They then produce an action plan, which is intended to deal with their behaviour. “Intervention of this nature offers two benefits to offenders – first, they get advice about their offending and drinking. Secondly, there is the potential for a beneficial sentencing. When they go to court, they have an action plan that shows they are making an effort to change their behaviour.” The research monitored a cohort of people who had been through the scheme. “None had stopped drinking,”

says Professor Sharp. “However, all had modified their drinking behaviour and had reported beneficial effects in terms of their health, relationships, their work performance or their potential for getting into further trouble.” Being arrested and being taken to a police station was a defining moment for nearly all the offenders. Being made to face the consequences of their behaviour in this way served as a wake-up call. Consequently, the timing of intervention was key – the fact that they were at this point advised to contact the alcohol agency and given access to free help and guidance seemed highly effective.

Constructive advice
“The success of the scheme stems from the fact that it is not punitive,” says Professor Sharp. “When they contact the agency, it is not a judgemental process. Many offenders commented positively on this. They were listened to, were given genuine, constructive advice to help them think about their drinking and were helped to think about ways to modify their drinking.” The majority of referrals were people who would not normally come into contact with an alcohol advisory service because they are young people who don’t recognise that they have a problem. Most were young men who drank large quantities of alcohol from Thursday to Saturday – classic binge drinkers. Female referrals tended to suffer from other associated problems. “By pointing them to the alcohol agency, they then had access to a whole

network of other support groups and counsellors. About 12-13 per cent of people who went on the scheme accessed other core services – they sought further advice or treatment sessions. This was most encouraging. When the study ceased collecting data, not one of the people who attended the sessions had been reconvicted of another offence.” Such intervention can only work if all partner agencies – the police, the alcohol agencies, the courts, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – work together and steering groups ensured the scheme addressed the issues of all parties to ensure best practice. In light of the UK drinking culture, Professor Sharp believes this is a successful type of intervention. It accesses exactly the age group at risk of binge drinking and shows demonstrable results. “People do change their drinking behaviour,” says Professor Sharp. “They don’t stop drinking but they do start drinking in a more sensible way. “This type of intervention engages all of the agencies in partnership to deal with problems that derive from a culture that glorifies heavy drinking. Given that this is the culture, this type of scheme meets the target population, deals with them in a non-judgemental fashion and, as a consequence, is of value to offenders who engage in the scheme and seek advice that offers real, long-term benefits.”

People do change their drinking behaviour. They don’t stop drinking but they do start drinking in a more sensible way

Contact For details of the latest Government anti-drugs strategies and initiatives, visit
14 Crime Reduction News

Contact Copies of the evaluation report are available at
Crime Reduction News 15



Back to the beat

Taking stock F

CPO Thwaites has a good rapport with the local farmers and together they set up a Country Watch scheme for Northern Ryedale in June 2004, which now has 36 members. Local resident Jane Medd is the co-ordinator, and was keen to get involved after rustlers stole 30 of her sheep during the spate of thefts. Rural Watch schemes including Farm, Horse, Country and Poacher Watch are similar to Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and its members, not the police, run Country Watch. The Country Watch scheme works in partnership with the police to aid crime reduction. “We ask members to patrol particular areas by car, so they act as extra ears and eyes for the police,” says CPO Thwaites.

armers in North Yorkshire have been repeatedly targeted by livestock rustlers. During 2004, 30 thefts of livestock worth £50,000 were reported in a 90day period – a reflection of the growing national problem for farming communities. Ray Thwaites, Local Community Police Officer (CPO) for Helmesley, has been working with farmers under a Country Watch scheme. Together they have worked with a security company to thwart the thieves. The result is a system designed to alert farmers when their field gates or surrounding fences have been tampered with. Thwaites has been a CPO in the North Yorkshire Police for seven years and his beat covers about 50 square miles and includes nearly 70 farms. He says: “My entire beat involves rural communities, farms and isolated rural communities scattered across the North Yorkshire moors. We had a problem with livestock theft. We believe the cattle, sheep and pigs were being stolen to order and slaughtered in illegal abattoirs to be sold to restaurants.”

“Neighbourhood policing can only happen with the active participation of people living and working in the policing area”

eighbourhood policing has been identified as the way forward for the service and is a significant part of the National Policing Plan, as highlighted in the police reform white paper ‘Building Communities, Beating Crime’. But neighbourhood policing can only happen with the active participation of people living and working in the policing area. Revitalised neighbourhood policing for the 21st century is central to the Government’s approach and by 2008 the Government wants every community to benefit from a style and level of neighbourhood policing engagement they believe is appropriate. Neighbourhood policing will involve teams of dedicated police officers, community support officers, Specials and wardens providing a visible and reassuring presence, preventing and detecting crime and creating a constructive and lasting engagement with their communities. The work of these officers will be pro-active and intelligence-led and will have the buy in and support from the local community. This will build mutual trust and support. Under the first phase of the Neighbourhood Policing Fund (NPF), £50m is being invested to support the recruitment of an additional 1500 CSOs. By the end of March 2005 there will be 5,500 CSOs, deployed in all 43 forces in England and Wales. Further investment under the NPF will help forces achieve the target of 24,000 CSOs in post by 2008.

Local communities also need to be more closely engaged in the policing of their communities by understanding the role they can play in keeping their areas safe and secure. The police service plays a key role in reducing crime, anti-social behaviour and ensuring community safety, but the Government is clear that this is not the sole responsibility of the police service. The solution lies in effective partnership and community engagement.

As easy as ABC
PACT – Police and Communities Together – is an initiative run by Lancashire police to tackle quality of life concerns and issues surrounding youth-related crime across the force area. It provides a leading example of how a community can engage with the police service to solve real problems. Complaints from residents on the Bath Mill Estate off Moor Lane, part of the force’s Northern division, were being recorded at 60 per month. This has fallen to zero thanks to the targeted use of acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs). An ABC is a voluntary, non-legally binding agreement by an under 18 to stop behaving in an anti-social way. Failure to stick to laid down restrictions can lead to court action. In part, ABCs are seen as a way of curbing anti-social behaviour without criminalising the individual. Support from parents makes the job easier and the officers often visit the homes of the errant youths. Over three years there were drink-related problems, graffiti, damage, noise at all hours and small fires. Enter PC Sharon Turner and PCSO David Owen and their ABCs, seven of which were already agreed upon. PC Turner said: “It’s been quite a struggle and the problems didn’t stop overnight. I don’t think the youngsters are going out on purpose to cause trouble and I don’t want to come down on them too heavily. I am just trying to keep them out of trouble. I want to steer them in the right direction, using diversionary tactics if necessary. I think I am getting through to them. They’re really trying hard.” Local resident Ray Hill said: “Life was hell, now it is heaven by comparison. You don’t very often see a standing ovation for a copper but Sharon got one at a recent meeting and fully deserved it.” Another resident, Mr Mason, backed her efforts with equal enthusiasm: “PC Turner has done a magnificent job. She is like the village bobby used to be.” crn

Using technology
Yet it is a technological innovation that has proved most helpful to local farmers in stamping out livestock theft. Communications and security expert Carl Meyer, of Farm Guard Ltd, in Claxton, York, became aware of the Country Watch scheme and contacted CPO Thwaites regarding his idea to tackle livestock theft. With the aid of CPO Thwaites, Medd and local farmers, Meyer has developed and trialled the system, which uses a buried probe, a battery, and sensors to detect when a gate has been opened or perimeter fencing disturbed. Within seconds, a 24-hour monitoring system is sent a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) signal of the location of the device and the address is given to the police. The pilot system has so far proved highly successful. Meyer says: “There have been no incidents where the system has been installed.” However, he admits that what everyone wants to see is the criminals caught and brought to justice.

● Regularly check the fields where

Keep bay areas lit at night as a deterrent.
● Where large expanses have to be

animals are grazing, daily if possible. ● Keep livestock in a secure area covering as much distance as possible. Make use of any existing natural barriers such as brooks and ditches. ● Keep secure gates closed at all times and patrol area frequently to check. ● Make gate hinges non-removable by capping hinges and locking them with close shackle case-hardened padlocks on case-hardened fittings. ● Gate and lock loading bays for cattle.

covered, insert locking posts to prevent vehicle access for loading. ● Take photographs of valuable animals. ● Consider using CCTV so you can watch animals in barns or yards – useful during busy periods such as the lambing season. ● If livestock is stolen, give the police an accurate description. Ear tags and horn brands help police to identify stock. Freeze branding, hot branding or tattooing your postcode will also help.

| Contact Email|For Rural Watch scheme details: www.crime

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||For details of rural crime initiatives visit:

Contact For more on the police reform policy paper ‘Building Communities, Beating Crime: A Better
Police Service for the 21st Century’ visit:
Crime Reduction News 17



We have the
cience and technology has been at the forefront of police work ever since Britain’s first successful conviction used fingerprints in 1902. These days, the Police Scientific Development Branch (PSDB) applies its technological expertise and scientific knowledge to provide high-tech solutions in the fight against crime. The PSDB employs more than 200 scientists and engineers from numerous technical disciplines, supporting the Home Office and UK police forces, the Prison and Security Services, the Department for Transport, HM Customs & Excise and other government departments. Its role is multi-faceted, incorporating advice, training, security and the development of new technologies across all areas of public and officer protection and crime prevention and investigation. Recent projects have ranged from rigorous testing of the taser electrical stun device for improved police protection, to establishing regular imaging workshops for training police in the best ways to process video evidence.

Effective solutions
PSDB currently manages 23 technical programmes and over 150 projects, some of which are conducted internally, while others are developed in collaboration with university research teams (for example, a project for a roadside drug impairment test which uses laser light to analyse saliva) and the private sector. To tailor effective solutions to particular police problems, a close understanding of the day-to-day operations of frontline officers and the specifics of the policing processes involved are crucial. “The nature of our work means that we interact with the police regularly, giving us a privileged insight into the problems they face,” says PSDB’s Firearms & Protective Equipment team leader Graham Smith. Improved investigation tools and enhanced security perhaps represent the more obvious benefits of the PSDB’s work – the unseen impact is the time, space and money that can be freed up. Whether it is minimising the risk of injury through advances in protective equipment or labour-saving improvements in data recording and storage, the result is a greater number of officers able to spend a greater amount of time in active service. “The work we do increases the number of police on the beat at any one time and it increases the morale of officers by ensuring they have the correct equipment to do the job,” says Graham Smith.


Making a difference
The PSDB’s work is valued because of the measurable improvements it provides. “One of the most satisfying things about working at PSDB is seeing your work become a reality. We can watch officers in action and say: ‘I helped the police get that piece of equipment,’” says Graham. Over the coming year, PSDB will gradually take on a new, broader role to provide scientific and technological advice across the Home Office. It will be renamed the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB). crn

“The work we do increases the number of police on the beat and increases the morale of officers by ensuring that they have the correct equipment to do the job”


In Nottinghamshire, fear of crime in the night-time economy is a major concern. The PSDB formed a unique partnership with Nottinghamshire Police to deploy hi-tech equipment traditionally used to fight serious crime and anti-terrorism to screen hundreds of the region’s clubbers, as part of a crackdown on drugs and weapons. The equipment included a sophisticated computerised archway metal detector, a baggage X-ray machine and an electronic drugs analyser. The PSDB also trained officers to use the equipment. Nottinghamshire Police became one of the first forces to use such sophisticated technology to tackle community policing problems which has since helped to reduce crime and reassure the public.


PSDB’s Fingerprint Manual showcases an array of techniques to develop fingerprints on exhibits retrieved from scenes of crime and is used in every fingerprint laboratory in the country and many abroad. The complex process of recording and registering large numbers of fingerprints was highlighted by police as a previously unencountered area of concern, with large backlogs forming of fingerprints which needed to be photographed. In response, PSDB scientists designed and developed the Integrated Rapid Imaging System (IRIS) which captures and displays the images on screen for less than a second, thus helping to significantly reduce the amount of time and manpower required to tackle this crucial but time-intensive operation. Feedback from forces has been very positive, with South Yorkshire Police reducing its photographic processing time from three days to ten minutes, and Cambridgeshire Constabulary adopting IRIS after using it on exhibits from the Soham enquiry. IRIS also links directly to NAFIS, the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System, to allow the rapid delivery of results.


The PSDB-led Safer Hospitals and Schools programme, in partnership with the Department of Health and the Department for Education & Skills, is helping to evaluate the effectiveness of technological applications used to reduce crime and the fear of crime in five pilot projects – two hospitals, two schools and an ambulance trust. The programme was awarded funding of £4.6 million from the Treasury’s Invest to Save budget. It aims to carry out a full assessment of the impact of an integrated approach to the use of security technology to provide examples of best practice. The projects have been guided by local teams of key stakeholders, while PSDB has also commissioned fear-of-crime surveys for all the pilot projects. The findings of an independent evaluation to establish the effectiveness and cost benefits will be unveiled during 2005.

| Contact To find out more about the Police Scientific Development Branch (PSDB) visit| For information about the Forensic Science Service visit
Crime Reduction News 3

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Safe and sound phone crime protecting youngsters from mobile
t the launch of SAFE, the anti-robbery week held in schools in January, Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said: “Being a victim of crime is a traumatic experience for anyone, but especially for young people-and unfortunately, children can make easy targets for thieves, often school age themselves. The Government has made great strides in cutting crime – 30 per cent down since 1997 – but we want to see even greater falls. To help achieve this, we have put record levels of police on the streets, recruited more than 4,000 community support officers and launched in November a major public information campaign, ‘Let’s Keep Crime Down’. But we cannot win the battle single-handed – we need the public, including children, to wise up to the risks, hide their valuables and stop making life easy for opportunistic criminals.” A number of initiatives are underway in support of this work, including SAFE Week, which took place between 10 and 14 January 2005 covering issues related to personal safety and youth robbery. The Home Office and Crimestoppers, together with key relevant professionals including teachers and police, produced the SAFE educational resource, designed to increase young people’s personal safety and to deter would-be offenders.


Play it SAFE
SAFE Week was launched by Home Office Minister Hazel Blears, Crimestoppers Director of Operations Dave Cording, and Olympic boxer Amir Khan, to coincide with January’s traditional rise in robbery offences. The SAFE educational resource comprises a number of elements, each of which can be downloaded from the Crimestoppers website at www.crimestoppers-uk. org/solving/safe. Materials include: ● A teacher guidance document detailing suggestions for lesson delivery, topic development and National Curriculum links for each subject ● An assembly plan on personal safety to introduce the topic to pupils. ● Four pupil worksheets covering the following lesson themes: Robbery and bullying, Personal Safety, Mobile Phones and Stolen property. ● A SAFE poster for schools.

Consequently, a CD-rom, Out of Your Hands, was launched in 2003. Aimed at 11-14 year-olds, it gives advice on how to avoid becoming the victim of mobile phone theft, what to do if your phone is stolen, and the potential consequences of committing robbery to steal other people’s phones. A website was also launched. In the mean time, the Government has been addressing the problem directly. The approach includes: ● Launching a database of lost and stolen phones, allowing phones reported as lost or stolen to be blocked across all UK networks by reference to the handset’s IMEI number, making them useless to thieves ● Legislation was passed (the Mobile Telephones (Reprogramming) Act 2002) to make it illegal to reprogramme a phone’s IMEI number, and to possess or supply the equipment needed to reprogramme phones with the intent of doing so ● A national campaign (Immobilise) to tell the public that stolen phones can now be made useless to thieves by reporting them as stolen to the networks ● A national police register enabling police to identify stolen handsets. Reprogramming Act was a world first, and therefore broke new ground. Two years of operational use by the police has shown that if the Act were amended slightly (to include an offence to offer to reprogramme mobile phones, or to have phones reprogrammed) it would be a far more effective law enforcement tool. Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, is taking forward a draft Bill to amend the Reprogramming Act 2002 along these lines.

A boost for safer communities


Register and protect
Hazel Blears, police and industry launched the National Mobile Phone Register, a valuable tool to fight mobile phone crime. The Register is an important step forward, allowing the police to identify stolen mobile phones in real time. The public can play their part too – by registering their phone for free they can protect their phone and can improve their chances of getting their phone back if it is lost or stolen. The more phones that are registered, the more effective the register will be. Mobile phones can be registered free of charge at crn

Target the right audience
Mobile phone theft impacts significantly on young people: more than half of mobile phone robbery victims are under 18; more than half of offenders are aged 15-17.

he Cleaner Safer Greener Communities campaign has been put in place by the Government to help planners, street cleaners, park managers, police, community support officers and others working in local environments to work with their community to create high-quality local neighbourhoods. The programme builds on the five-year action plan set out in Living Places: Cleaner, Safer, Greener, published in October 2002. It is spearheaded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and is backed by a host of Government departments covering key issues such as health, environment, education, transport, enterprise and crime. As part of this drive, a practical support programme on how to deliver innovative local environment services is being developed by the ODPM. The Cleaner Safer Greener programme will provide practitioners with the information, support and stimulus required to make their environments cleaner, safer and greener. It will include information guides and academy-style support services to provide a targeted, implementation-focussed approach. Other services will also be developed, with the input of practitioners, to provide immediate and practical support. The programme will be launched by the ODPM and Home Office in March. Three how to guides will then be rolled out – covering town centres in March, then homes and streets, and parks and open spaces in June. Each guide will provide a central source of information on service delivery and provide advice and action plans. They will be accompanied by a series of topical workshops and action learning seminars to develop and highlight good practice and to help tailor solutions to individual places and practitioners. ODPM Minister Phil Hope said, “Making our communities cleaner, safer and greener is a goal that many of us share. Through working together, we are already making our streets and town centres better places to live and

work. The programme aims to bolster the partnership between decision makers, service providers and local communities by spreading knowledge and best practice. We want everyone to be clear on what action they can take, what powers they can use and what they can expect from others.” The first guide looks at town centres, with a particular focus on managing the night time economy. Thriving night-time economies have created new challenges around alcohol-fuelled violence and crime and disorder. The problems are significant, not to mention the strains on public services such as the police, transport, and accident and emergency services: 44 per cent of the 1.2 million violent crimes committed in 2002-03 were fuelled by alcohol; 35 per cent of all attendees at hospital accident and emergency departments were related to alcohol, and 70 per cent of those occurred between midnight and 5am. The cost of the crime and disorder bill is estimated at £7.3 billion a year. It is possible to address the problem and deliver more active, inclusive and safe town centres. There are many examples of people using existing and new powers to good effect including: the Licensing Act 2003; the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England; the Tackling Violent Crime programme and new planning legislation. The guide will highlight the way in which strong leadership, solid mechanisms for delivery and clear strategies can be implemented to manage the night-time economy and prevent alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour. The programme will emphasise the importance of partnership working and engaging with the wider community. “Across the country people are making a huge difference to their local environment through innovative and intelligent and approaches to tackling challenging issues,” said Phil Hope. “The Cleaner Safer Greener programme will allow us to learn from these experiences and ensure we can maximise our efforts to make our communities better place for all.” crn

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| Visit for youth-targeted advice|Register phones for free at


| Visit For details of SAFE and to access educational resources, visit|

Visit for ideas on funding and how to make public spaces cleaner, safer and

| greener|For details of the new Cleaner Safer Greener programme email
Crime Reduction News 21




Winners of the Mainstreaming Award, Brighton & Hove Division of Sussex police

Conference call
A national conference will be taking place in Nottingham on Saturday 12 March for 500 people who are involved in the work of Neighbourhood Watch or who are interested in setting up such groups in their area. Home Office Minister Hazel Blears will give the keynote speech. A report on the conference will appear in a future issue of CRN.

Chilling out online
A pioneering website aimed at children and young people aged from four to 19 has been making a big impression in the Market Harborough community since its launch at the end of last year. The CHILLOUTZONE site was designed to provide young people with a safe and fun environment in which to learn about all aspects of citizenship in order to encourage an appreciation of social and moral responsibility and help children to understand the importance of community. It appears to be working – the site received over 5,000 hits in the first week. The website was designed by Schoolwatch, a subcommittee of Market Harborough Neighbourhood Watch Support Scheme. Schoolwatch provides a formal link between schools and their immediate community and is concerned with any incident or situation, which may threaten the safety of our schoolchildren from would-be abductors to road safety and drug abuse. School Watch hopes the site will prove effective in reducing local crime by improving the safety of school children and protecting them from dangers they are likely to encounter when travelling to and from school, while also encouraging schools, parents and pupils to be more aware and alert. To encourage further interactivity, the site will be launching competitions connected to safety, anti-social behaviour, social exclusion and other issues directly affecting young people. Visit

A benchmark project

Building safer neighbourhoods

“The Safer Neighbourhood Programme is an excellent example of partners working together and involving local people to make a real difference to their community”

he award-winning Safer Neighbourhood Programme was implemented in five high-crime areas between 2001 and 2004 to specifically highlight crime and fear-of-crime issues throughout the area while also enhancing quality of life and actively encouraging communities’ involvement. The scheme gained particular distinction for both the strength of its framework and methodology and as an example of effective partnerships, resulting in a 14 per cent reduction in overall crime against an average 7 per cent reduction in comparable areas.

‘Audit to action’ approach
The programme was based on the successful Neighbourhood Safety pilot run by the national crime reduction organisation, Crime Concern, and followed the problem-solving and evidence-led ‘audit to action’ approach, which helps to address those issues of greatest concern to the community. After a comprehensive audit of local problems, using neighbourhood-based statistics, a survey of residents and consultation with a wide range of local organisations and community groups, action groups were established to take on tasks in the highlighted areas; anti-social behaviour, the environment, priority crimes such as burglary and vehicle crime, young people, communication strategies and training. At least three pieces of work for each priority were then identified as quick wins so as to help build momentum through swift and effective action.

For more details of the awards, visit


The programme was funded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund in conjunction with partners including Crime Concern, Birmingham City Council’s Housing Department, West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council’s Environmental Services. At the end of the first year of operation, the Safer Neighbourhood Programme had achieved a saving in costs of crime of £6,406,840 for an investment of £600,000, while youth crime reduced by an average of 29 per cent against 12 per cent in the overall area. Nick Tofiluk, Assistant Chief Constable, West Midlands Police, said, “This award is well deserved. The Safer Neighbourhood Programme is an excellent example of partners working together and involving local people to make a real difference to their community to their safety and to their environment.” The programme is based upon sound, tested and robust methodology and activity, suggesting it can be replicated anywhere at relatively little cost. Chris Dyer, from Crime Concern commented, “The successful implementation of the Neighbourhood Safety model in Birmingham should be heralded by all as an excellent example of how long-term positive change and impact can be achieved even in the most difficult of neighbourhoods.” crn

Exeter’s Park Watch Group has come up with an effective way of keeping local youngsters out of trouble while also giving them a sense of purpose. A Neighbourhood Watch-inspired scheme was initiated in response to a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour in Heavitree Pleasure Park, Exeter. To address the problem, city council community patrollers, local beat officers and Park Watch volunteers talked to the youngsters about their behaviour and gave them the opportunity to take responsibility and do something constructive. Under the guidance of environmental artist James Bond, they were given the chance to construct a wooden sheltered seat in the park using traditional hand tools. Forty-nine youngsters took part in the six-month project. During this time, local residents came along to talk to the youngsters, helping to break down barriers and build a sense of community. One elderly resident, who had constructed wooden legs for amputees in the First World War, shared his skills and wartime stories with the spellbound audience.

Year of the Volunteer takes shape
In January, the Home Secretary Charles Clarke and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown officially declared 2005 to be the Year of the Volunteer. In doing so, they highlighted the invaluable contribution the nations thousands of volunteers make to their communities and to the nation’s economic wellbeing. According to the 2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey, volunteering is worth £22.6 billion a year to the UK economy. The launch took place at the Home Office’s Local Heroes awards ceremony, which recognised and rewarded people who had made a difference to other people’s lives and got involved in local community issues. Their efforts highlight the Government’s determination to encourage more people to contribute to civil renewal by taking responsibility and becoming an active citizen through the year ahead. “Personal volunteering builds up confidence and skills, raises self-esteem and self-worth,’ said the Home Secretary. “It strengthens communities and helps people learn and care about the wider society and democracy of which they are a part.” The year-long campaign is divided into monthly themes: April’s theme is Justice; that of October is Citizenship & Community.

22 Crime Reduction News

Crime Reduction News 23