A West Mercia Police initiative that aims to reduce crimes such as burglary and theft has won a national award.
Launched in 2015 We Don’t Buy Crime is West Mercia Police’s response to serious acquisitive crime and the associated harm.
Earlier this year, it was announced as the Tilley Awards winner of the partners category.
The Tilley Awards celebrate initiatives that seek to find longer term solutions to issues and transform ways of working across police and partners to reduce demand.
Chief Superintendent Tom Harding has led We Don’t Buy Crime since its inception four years ago.
He said: “This is fantastic news, I’m absolutely thrilled that We Don’t Buy Crime has been recognised for the fantastic and innovative work that has been carried out to help stop people from being a victim of burglary or theft.
“We are fortunate that the counties we cover across West Mercia Police are relatively safe but one thing I have always been acutely aware of is how much crimes such as burglary and theft affect our communities.”
Since it was launched four years ago We Don’t Buy Crime has gone from strength to strength.
The initiative started as a project that sees police work with West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and local parish and town councils to provide whole communities with a SmartWater forensic property marking kit. Signs are displayed throughout the area to warn criminals the whole community has taken crime prevention measures.
Academic research commissioned by Ch Supt Harding to assess effectiveness of We Don’t Buy Crime areas and ensure value for money has proven the initiative has not just helped reduce crime but has provided enhanced reassurance to our local communities.
Now, there are five strands to We Don’t Buy Crime with the team working with second-hand shops to identify stolen goods, fuel stations to not just prevent people from driving off without paying for their fuel but to work with police to report any suspicious activity and utilising the latest in covert techniques to catch criminals when they do commit crime.
Last year, to help address the associated harm that often comes with serious acquisitive crime an exploitation and vulnerability strand was launched with staff providing inputs to organisations and community groups to help them recognise the signs someone may be being exploited and what to do if they do suspect they are.
Ch Supt Harding added: “My ultimate aim is to put criminals out of business and make our counties an unattractive place for them to commit crime. This award has been a real team effort, the team carries out some incredible work, working in partnership with West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, SmartWater and a host of others, to ultimately make our communities even safer.”
To find out more about We Don’t Buy Crime follow @wedontbuycrime on Twitter or email the team at [email protected]