By Calvin at 13:33 GMT, 9 years ago
Yes, you’ve read it right and what a novel idea!
Members of the community and the Middleton Neighbourhood Policing Team are putting helium balloons through open windows and doors in their area to warn residents of the consequences of leaving their homes insecure.
Each balloon has an attached label carrying the words ‘Why am I here?’ with an explanation on the reverse. Police Community Support Officers are then visiting the house to conduct a home security survey.
The houses that are secure are delivered a leaflet congratulating them and giving them advice about burglary.
For the full story please read the news item on the GMP website
When I read about this novel initiative I did wonder how it would be received in the press. As expected this clever initiative has made many of the national newspapers and their associated websites and is therefore going to be a useful initiative for the UK, not just for Middleton.
Unfortunately some of the comments left on certain newspapers’ sites were written by people who either hadn’t read the story properly or simply just didn’t get it – you know the sort! “OMG” said one “haven’t the police got something better to do with their time like being on the beat?” Perhaps it didn’t occur to the writer that the police were on the beat checking peoples’ home security and hopefully preventing a few crimes. Then another unimpressed blogger said something like “If someone wants to break in they will” relating a story about someone they know having the back door forced with a spade. Well where did the spade come from? Their insecure garden shed, or was it just left out in the garden? A statement like “If someone wants to break in they will” is not just defeatist and unhelpful, it’s simply not supported by the overwhelming evidence that proves that the correct crime prevention measures work.
It’s always difficult coming up with new ways of getting the crime prevention message over in a fashion that will capture an audience and so from me it’s congratulations to GMP Middleton who must be feeling rather ‘pumped up’ about it just now!!