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35 areas join Vigilance Programme to tackle burglary and personal robbery

35 areas join Vigilance Programme to tackle burglary and personal robbery

News Release issued by the Government News Network on 09 July 2009

A £3 million package of support to help 35 areas tackle and prevent burglary and personal robbery was announced today by Home Office Minister Alan Campbell.

The Vigilance programme includes the provision of pre-emptive support, training and additional resources for areas across the country that have started to see rises in burglary and robbery over the last 12 months.

It also includes a crackdown on known offenders in those areas with more proactive methods including;

* surprise home visits by police officers;
* text messages reminding them to turn up to meetings with probation officers and job interviews; and
* targeting of prisoners released from short term sentences who might be more likely to reoffend.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said:

"Our priority is protecting the public and making sure people feel safe in their homes and on our streets. Burglary has fallen by 55 per cent since 1997 but we must stay on the front foot and address the challenges we face as soon as they start to emerge.

“We are already working to make thousands of homes safer with the Securing Homes initiative and through Vigilance we will crack down on the known offenders who cause most damage to communities.

“Many of the areas taking part in Vigilance have seen a significant drop in overall crime over the last decade but like us they are determined to take a tough, proactive stance in keeping crime down and should be commended for working in partnership with us to do that.”

The Vigilance programme will be led by Mick Creedon, Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on acquisitive crime.

Chief Constable Creedon said:

“As head of the Vigilance programme I’m keen to ensure that we use this opportunity to sharpen up some of our approaches to crime reduction and ensure that we stay ahead of the game.
“Vigilance is about ensuring that local areas have the necessary tools, training and plans in place to tackle crimes of burglary and robbery before they become entrenched in an area. This involves not just investigating those acquisitive crimes that do happen, but also working with partners to manage and prevent patterns of re-offending.
“We will review progress in targeting these offences over the next year and hopefully use learning from Vigilance to create a national model on acquisitive crime.”

The 35 areas were invited to be part of the scheme, which is designed to be a pre-emptive approach to preventing early signs of rises in burglary and robbery over the last six months. In the majority of areas the rises are relatively modest and overall crime remains low.

Providing focussed support to these areas will help authorities tackle any emerging issues and develop new best practice which can be shared around the country. The programme of support will last for one year and will then be reviewed.

The Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP) taking part are: Leeds, Barking & Dagenham, Tameside, Redbridge, Portsmouth, Bolton, Kirklees, Leicester, Peterborough UA, Derby, Havering, Cambridge, Bradford, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Stockport, Merton, North Lincolnshire, Salford, Croydon, Southend, Calderdale, City of Westminster, Bromley, North East Lincolnshire, Central Bedfordshire, Trafford, York, Wycombe, Basildon, Bexley, Doncaster, Sheffield, Manchester; and Nottingham.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Vigilance programme will offer:

- £3m for intensive management of released prisoners who have served less than 12 months, to ensure that they don’t stay in the revolving door of re-offending.
- a diagnostic of the burglary and robbery challenges facing the CDRP.
- based on this evidence, agreed action plans with the CDRPs will be followed by intensive support to implement the plans including:

* support analysing the scale of the challenges;
* masterclasses and training in tackling burglary and robbery;
* crime experts to support the CDRPs;
* proven problem solving training;
* communications support to boost local confidence;
* support to refresh targeting of the most prolific offenders; and
* help in developing integrated offender management to deliver offender interventions.

2. The increased supervision of offenders will adopt the Integrated Offender Management approach, which draws together existing programmes, such as Drug Intervention Programmes and Prolific and Priority Offender schemes, allowing more priority offenders to be intensively managed. It has already been pioneered in six areas - Avon and Somerset, Lancashire, London, Nottinghamshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire

3. In April the Home Office announced it was setting up a £6 million Safer Homes fund to pay for local handy-people to visit up to 45,000 homes of people who are less likely to have good home security, such as older people and people on low incomes, and install security devices such as window locks making those houses more secure.

4. A free advice pack for people concerned about becoming victims of burglary that provides simple and practical advice on what they can do to prevent it is also available. It includes discount vouchers for home security products from B&Q and Focus, a DIY company. To request a pack ring 0800 456 1213.

5. For more information call the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535.

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