We've recently launched a campaign to encourage Clacton residents to speak up about drug dealing gangs.
The campaign was kick-started with a series of postcards being put through the letterboxes of Clacton homes, and is continuing with posters in community venues and targeted Facebook adverts.
We're also hoping to go into local schools and youth clubs to tell those aged between 11- 16 about the Crimestoppers youth service Fearless (www.fearless.org). They recently joined forces with the St Giles Trust on a similar campaign in Ipswich, Suffolk, where an ex-gang member recounted their experiences and highlighted the choices open to them, including giving information anonymously to Fearless. This follows an already successful partnership with local charity Only Cowards Carry.
A spokesperson for Crimestoppers said: “People often ask me why someone would not contact the police if they knew about drug dealing in their community, or about someone who carried a knife, or someone who was being sexually exploited by a gang. The fear of a criminal finding out that you have gone to the police about them can paralyse a community. Crimestoppers removes that concern and gives people peace of mind”.
She added: “People should feel safe and secure in their own community. No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers, as you will remain anonymous. We never ask for your name and no personal details are taken; calls are not recorded, calls/online forms cannot be traced and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 26 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity”.
Russ Cole from Essex Police commented: "Although we do not have a significant drug problem in Clacton, we want to show those who are involved in this activity that it will not be tolerated in Essex. We regularly act on intelligence provided by the local community and are present on the streets to catch offenders red-handed with drugs in their possession. We recognise the effect this issue can have on a community and the associated crime it can bring along with it. I encourage you to not suffer in silence and give us the vital information to hold drug dealers accountable for their actions.”
Crimestoppers plays a significant part in the fight against crime. Around 1,000 people contact us every day to give information about crime, which leads to an average of 17 arrests every day. Calls to Crimestoppers about drug dealing and gang related violence doubled in the first month of a similar campaign across the border in Suffolk.
Members of the public are eligible to claim a reward of up to £1,000 if their information given to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 leads to a successful arrest and charge. You can also complete our anonymous online form
For further information please contact Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager, on 07825 445720 or 01255 475954 or firstname.lastname@example.org