Do you have the key piece of the jigsaw?
By Inspector Philip Baker, Lincolnshire Police
When I took over as the Inspector in charge of the Wolds I set a vision of developing a team that Reduces Harm and Prevents Crime by recognising not only the Vulnerabilities but also the Strength of its Rural Communities. The aims and objectives were:
• Reduce harm to the most vulnerable in our communities by identifying, supporting and reducing opportunity for exploitation
• Proactively prevent crime
• Engage the community to support the Wolds team in its aims and objectives
One of the things that struck me about the area was the strength of the rural community and that it was at times an untapped resource. Very little happens in rural communities that goes unnoticed by somebody but what I did establish is that much will never be reported to us.
Sadly I hear comments such as ‘why bother, the police aren't interested', or ‘I reported it and the police did nothing' and I agree that at times this may appear to be the case. I will be the first to say we cannot solve every crime or always react to every piece of information we receive that would be unrealistic, but we can only deal with things we are aware of and the information helps me to put resources where needed to reduce harm and prevent crime, which brings me on to my plea.
If you have been a victim of crime or have information about people who are committing offences please contact us. If you see a suspicious vehicle or people in your area then let us know. It may just be the key piece of the jigsaw that helps us prevent your community from falling victim to crime or helps us solve a crime in another village.
I am often asked about crime prevention and to provide advice on what to do, I often reply that crime prevention is not complicated and criminals work on risk vs reward basis. Put simply the greater the reward, the greater the risk a criminal will take.
Criminals do not want to get caught and crime prevention is often focussed on persuading the criminals that getting caught isn't worth the pay-out. I ask the question, if you had a valuable item of jewellery how would you protect it? In the house with an alarm, maybe CCTV, in a safe bolted down? Now ask yourself how you secure an expensive item of machinery/equipment? Do the security measures increase the risk of being caught compared to the reward for the criminal?
There are many areas from which to gain up to date crime prevention advice a start would be: