Bus stops for crime prevention
Dated: 26 Oct 2012[View Full Size]
Police are jumping onboard the community 'Plus Bus' to bring crime prevention advice to older people.
The special bus service with an inbuilt mobile library is run by North Tyneside Council, Age UK North Tyneside and VODA (Voluntary Organisations Development Agency). It helps residents, especially older people, get about the borough and keep in touch. Plus Bus travels between community centres, shopping areas and sheltered accommodation helping residents maintain independence while getting about.
The bus is also staffed with volunteers who can offer advice on local authority services, welfare and benefits. Police are now joining the volunteers with advice on staying safe from bogus callers.
This supports the forcewide 'If in doubt, keep them out!' initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the problem of doorstep criminals - people who carry out distraction burglaries, such as bogus officials, high pressure doorstep salesmen and rogue traders.
Chief Inspector Mandy Shea, from North Tyneside Area Command, said: "Our officers travel around the borough as part of their neighbourhood patrols, talking to local people and dealing with their concerns. Now they've stepped on board the bus to bring our crime prevention message to more residents.
"We want to help people take sensible steps to stay safe in their homes. We're aware that bogus callers can target the elderly and more vulnerable people, which is why we wanted to bring the safety message to these passengers.
"We're also asking people to keep an eye on their neighbours and friends and encourage them to understand the importance of crime prevention."
As well as crime prevention tips the leaflets also contains useful telephone numbers of local utility suppliers - to make it easy for residents to check that callers are from the company they say they're from - with space for other numbers to be added in.
Cllr George Westwater, cabinet member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: "The Plus Bus is all about taking services into our communities.
"It’s also a great way of providing useful advice to residents. I’m pleased that our partners at Northumbria Police are using it is an opportunity to pass on important messages about bogus callers."
For more information about the Plus Bus, contact North Shields Library on (0191) 643 5270 or visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk
If you are suspicious about a caller inform the police on 101 or in an emergency call 999.
Pictured is PC Damian Ramsay discussing crime prevention with one of the service users on the community Plus Bus