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Why the Crime Prevention Website?
The launch of this site has come at a time of huge reductions in police budgets, which has led to the stripping away of a great deal of the police's ability to deliver a comprehensive crime prevention service. These crime prevention staff reductions have not been consistent across all of the UK forces. A few have maintained a reasonable level of service whilst others have made cuts of up to 75%. One force has just about done away with a crime prevention service altogether! Add to this the archiving of much of the material on the government's old crime reduction website and we're back to the 1970s.
So, although I do not regard this site as being part of the current government's 'Big Society', it certainly does replace some of what's gone missing and I do hope that my former police colleagues and everybody who visits the site find it useful and sufficiently detailed to help the cause of crime prevention.
The Crime Prevention Website’s objectives
A website of this size has to have some objectives and goals against which I can measure its success and frankly it's only going to be successful if people visit it and benefit from its content. None of the objectives listed below are particularly novel, but they are all very achievable with your help. I have formed a steering group of former police colleagues and academics to help guide the future development of the site, so it isn't just me doing all the writing.
Provide free, independent, clear and accurate crime prevention advice to all members of our society
Apart from a forthcoming private forum for professionals in crime prevention the entire website is open access for all. I have worked hard to provide visitors with the very best advice and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether I have achieved this objective.
If the urge takes you, you can give me feedback by clicking Feedback on this page at the top right of every page.
Remember, the more people who know about this site and the more visitors it gets, the more useful it will become, so PLEASE TELL YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES ABOUT IT!
Provide a free, online Home Security Survey application
As a retired police officer (See About the author ) who was involved in crime prevention for many years, I see this as a useful tool to support the police crime prevention service at a time when they are being forced to make a great number of redundancies. I would encourage the police to use and promote this application as a resource for their own staff and the public they serve. (See Home security assessment Section 1 DIY Home security survey )
Promote lively discussion of issues relevant to crime, crime prevention and anti-social behaviour through the use of the Crime Prevention Forum
The Public Forum is a place where everyone can anonymously or otherwise discuss any type of crime prevention issue and hopefully go away with some useful solutions and ideas. I would welcome comment from members of Neighbourhood/Home Watch schemes and those who work for the Victim Support Scheme
The forthcoming Professional Forum is for people who work in crime prevention and the wider security industry. The people who should join this forum include: serving and former police officers, police community support officers, crime prevention/reduction officers, crime prevention design advisers/architectural liaison officers, local authority community safety staff, professionals in the security industry, academics working in the field of crime and criminology and built environment professionals.
Promote the use of products and services that meet recognised security standards
There are lots of specific security products, such as locks and grilles and property marking equipment that have achieved a standard of security that sets them apart from others. There are also other products that have been designed to be secure, even though their primary purpose is not necessarily for security, such as replacement windows. This site aims to support the police promotion of recognised security standards.
Provide access to crime prevention guides and research papers and provide links to other useful websites
There’s a lot of crime prevention material out there and yet it can be difficult to find. A visit to the Library will either provide you with a copy of the document you’re looking for or a link to a place where you can download it. The library will continue to grow and I would appreciate your suggestions for new links and documents.
Provide up-to-date news about crime, crime prevention and security products
Crime is always in the news, but crime prevention news is a little more difficult to come by. This is an opportunity to collect and share information about new techniques and new products to prevent crime
Become the home of the UK Crime Prevention Society
There is plenty of room in the UK for a new society to represent the views of crime prevention professionals and volunteers that is completely independent of government and the police service and government supported organisations.
Those of you who join the forum may choose to be a part of this fledgling organisation and if somebody is interested in taking this forward I would be interested to hear from you.
Who has helped me create the Crime Prevention Website?
I am both heartened by and immensely grateful to the large number of former colleagues in the police, in industry and in academia who have helped me along the way; not only with the provision of material and checking out my articles, but also their encouragement to create something that they have regarded as needed. Without this continued support I might have collapsed under the weight of it all! Thank you to all of you – you know who you are!
The Crime Prevention Website is under construction
Actually the Crime Prevention Website will always be under construction to some extent, because I will be updating advice sections and adding new ones. This website has gone live with about 170,000 words of advice. A few of the chapters and sections are not started or not quite finished. Wherever possible, rather than leave a section completely blank, I have provided some basic advice for you to follow. Pictures and diagrams will be continually added to the text over the forthcoming months as fast as I can produce them.
A few words about the content of the Crime Prevention Website
I use the term ‘he’ throughout the site when describing criminals. This has been done for convenience only and does not suggest that criminals cannot be female. However, the use of the word ‘he’ does reflect the fact that males are convicted of a lot more crime than females. In 2009 males represented about 94.5% of the total prison population in the UK.
Unfortunately I get things wrong from time to time and if you spot an error, such as a ‘don’t’ instead of a ‘do’ or a spelling error or you have an alternative view or better solution about some crime prevention advice I have given then I would love to hear from you. Likewise, if there is something I have missed and you would like me to include it on the site let me know what it is and give me your solution. Let me know about these things by clicking on Feedback on this page . If my colleagues on the website’s steering group give your solution the ‘thumbs up’ it will be put into the text on the site and accredited with your name, but only with your permission.
Advertising on the Crime Prevention Website
Running a large and comprehensive website like this costs money and I do require advertising revenue to keep it going. I also feel that visitors will be interested in linking to manufacturers and retailers and others who can provide products and services that meet the security standards recommended on this site. If a security standard exists for a particular product, such as a door or window or shutter, I require them to provide evidence of third party certification. If they are unable to provide me with the information I won’t take the advert.
Although I take great care to check advertisers claims I cannot and do not guarantee that the product or service they provide is certificated on the day that you make a purchase. It is therefore extremely important that you carry out your own research to confirm the claims made by the advertisers by using the information I have provided in the relevant sections.
If you uncover a misleading claim or advert please let me know immediately and I will take action. Misleading claims are no good for you and no good for me, might be illegal and are certainly no good for the honest and scrupulous companies that are striving to provide us with the best possible products
If you would like to advertise on the Crime Prevention Website please click here and complete the enquiry form. I will call you back by telephone just as soon as I can.
Content and Ad Farms
A Content farm or Ad farm is a website that pays a writer (often a student) to write an article on a predetermined topic, based upon keywords, in order that the website receives a high number of hits by the search engines. Writers are usually paid a small up front fee ($15 for about 500 words is not uncommon) and or a ‘per page view fee’. These websites focus more on keywords and ranking well on Google searches than delivering the high quality and useful information that the user is looking for.
The main goal of Content Farms isn't to produce high quality articles; it is to attract search engine traffic to generate advertising revenue. In effect they block access to the really useful websites, because they are designed to appear on the first few pages of a search result.
I recently found a total of 111 Content farm websites that were all owned and operated by the same person. One of these sites was giving home security advice and not only was the advice lacking in content, but it was out of date and contravened a number of building regulations concerning fire safety. The advice had been written by a person, who’s name popped up again on another one of these sites where he was suddenly an expert in cocktail making!
All of these 111 sites are identical in layout and have been designed to be what they are – Google advert grabbers! Google in the US now have systems to identify Content farms so that they can avoid placing their adverts on them. These measures are likely to arrive in Europe during 2012.