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"The Thames Valley Country Watch website was launched in 2013 to assist in the fight against rural crime in the Thames Valley. In the last six months since the launch of this Neighbourhood Alert powered site we have seen nearly 3000 (2960) new members from rural communities join Country Watch.
Tackling rural crime is one of my key priorities and this system helps Thames Valley Police to prevent, disrupt and detect criminal activity by enabling them to engage with the individuals, communities and businesses most affected by rural crime So far in 2014 thousands of text messages, voice calls and email messages have been sent out to the 12,000+ members of our rural watch schemes. The feedback we receive is superb, the intelligence we get back is invaluable and the growth of rural registrations is continuing to escalate.”
- Candy Stallard
"Cumbria Constabulary and their Community Safety partners have been using Neighbourhood Alert to communicate with residents and businesses in the County since 2011. 98% of Cumbria is classified as being ‘rural’, with 50% of the population living in ‘rural’ areas. ‘Rural’ issues matter in Cumbria, and that is why users of the Cumbria messaging system have an option to join Cumbria Farm Watch. Nearly 2,000 users of the Cumbria messaging system have joined the Farm Watch community, growing bigger every month. Recent analysis of use and outcomes highlighted two important points;
- Communication and engagement produces tangible benefits:
- A three months study in one area of the county identified a direct correlation between the number of messages sent out and the amount of information received by the Constabulary, the more messages sent out, the more ‘suspicious’ incidents received. These reports produced positive outcomes in many case – recovery of stolen property, or information that assisted criminal enquiries.
- Between 15 and 18% of the suspicious incident reports were generated by Farm Watch and Neighbourhood Watch members (recipients of the communications), who represent just 2.4% of the 45+ population in the area studied, a positive return on investment!
- How you communicate matters:
- Broadband and mobile phone coverage in rural Cumbria is very poor, which coupled with some farmers reluctance to embrace technology means that less than 50% of the Farm watch members in Cumbria have an e mail address.
- The area producing the positive results utilises the function to send messages by text and Voice mail. Whilst this incurs a cost (e mails are free), it ensures the message gets to its intended audience.
- A comparable area elsewhere in the County doesn’t utilise texts and Voice mail, and doesn’t get the same results."
- Andy Baines