Silence won’t stop violence
Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit is supporting Crimestoppers with their latest campaign which encourages people across our communities to speak up to help save lives.
In England and Wales last year, 275 people lost their life to a knife or sharp instrument. And 4,620 people were admitted to hospitals in England for attacks by sharp objects. Whilst official statistics show that knife crime has fallen, everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe.
Annabelle Goodenough, South East Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, has guest authored our latest blog on the importance of community-led intelligence and information to help combat violence and crime.
As an independent charity giving people the power to speak up and stop crime, we know that safety cannot be solely left to the police. Whilst many of us do feel able to report crime directly to law enforcement, our research confirms that nearly a fifth of the public have known about a crime, but have chosen not to talk to the police. There are many possible reasons for this; perhaps someone is fearful of the repercussions if they speak out against the perpetrator, or maybe they want to avoid the emotional stress of appearing in court or giving witness statements. Whatever the reason, our charity’s cast-iron guarantee of anonymity offers an alternative option which helps keep your community, friends and loved ones safe.
Whether you pass on what you know by making a report on the phone on freephone 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org, Crimestoppers has always kept our promise of anonymity since we began over 30 years ago. But how does our service actually work? Check out the below video to understand how we keep everyone who contacts us 100% anonymous:
Every phone call or online form about criminal activity is crucial to helping communities stay safe. Without members of the public, like you, your sibling, your neighbour or friend, many crimes would not be stopped, and many criminals not brought to justice.
It is crucial for Crimestoppers to work together in the fight against crime. We are often confused as ‘Crimewatch’ and, whilst we do work with the TV programme, our role and impact extend far beyond this. We’re linked in with every police force in the country and all law enforcement agencies including Border Force, National Crime Agency, and British Transport Police. On a local level, we have a team of Regional Managers, such as myself, who also work closely with Violence Reduction Units (VRU’s), councils, Neighbourhood Watch, and other charities and organisations who work to support victims of crime, and share crime prevention advice. Last year over half a million people trusted us with their anonymous information, which helped solve and prevent everything from murder and domestic abuse, to gang violence, burglary and large-scale industrial fly tipping.
So, what about Crimestoppers in Thames Valley? Last year, over 4,700 pieces of information were passed on from people across the Thames Valley Police area to the force. That’s vital information that may never have been heard or passed on had it not been for the residents of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire wanting to break the wall of silence but preferring to stay completely anonymous. All these reports led to a ‘street value’ of £225,000 drugs being recovered as well as numerous other positive outcomes from our information, including many arrests and charges for wanted individuals.
Crimestoppers also have a youth platform that talks directly to them in their language and tailored to their needs. In addition to offering advice with an A-Z of crime types, it also enables young people to report what they know about crime – such as who is carrying a knife – completely anonymously via Fearless.org.: Home – Fearless.org
To report what you know about crime 100% anonymously, visit the charity’s website Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form or call their 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, 365 days of the year. In an emergency, always call 999. Young people can also use our resources, find advice and use our anonymous online form at Fearless.org.
Learn more about Crimestoppers’ campaign here.