After taking on his new role in September, new West Country Crimestoppers Chair Peter Anderson gives us a quick view of the future...
In September 2016, I took over as Chair of West Country Crimestoppers (WCC) Committee, having been a member for seven years. My role on the committee has been to ensure the activities of Community Safety Partnerships across the West Country utilise Crimestoppers when tackling crime and promoting community safety. Leading WCC is really exciting and a challenge I will relish.
At such times of austerity in the public sector, and with increased demand and need for public protection services and a public expectation to bring offenders to justice, the role Crimestoppers fulfils is crucial within the remit of crime reduction and community safety. I am thrilled to be leading the WCC Committee, working alongside experienced and committed volunteers, who are packed with passion and energy to do the best job possible.
WCC has always had a great relationship with the police and other partners, enabling us to deliver targeted and successful campaigns. We will continue to seek opportunities for WCC to support crime reduction activities through both planned and reactive campaigns.
A key ingredient of a successful committee is a stable financial base – one which WCC has worked hard to achieve. This has enabled WCC to go beyond campaigning, to deliver an annual project, known as ‘What Would You Do?', an initiative has, for the past two years, engaged 700 inner city young people (aged 9-11 years) in schools from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds in educational drama and play workshops which address issues prevalent to the local area (including Child Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilations, Street Crime and Modern Day Slavery) in an age-appropriate way, with the aim of:
- Providing the information and tools needed to help young people make informed choices when faced with difficult challenges or decisions
- Informing young people about community safety
- Heightening awareness of Crimestoppers and how to report crime anonymously
The initiative has also reached parents and family members from many different sections of the community, promoting cohesion. In 2016 and 2015, several hundred attended showcase performances which followed the workshops. Through their children, adult members of the inner city Bristol community have come to understand that there is a safe, anonymous way to give information about crime.
Click here to watch a short video about 'What Would You Do?' - when prompted, enter the password wwyd.
I see the development and sustainability of projects like WWYD as being the natural progression/evolution for committees working with and within communities, using the platform of Crimestoppers to promote safety and cohesion.
As with any successful partnership, relationships are key, and WCC's recipe for success is no different. Such relationships are fostered and nurtured by our Regional Manager Gordon Chisholm, who has a pivotal role in all that we do.
The future is bright for WCC and I am privileged to be chairing the committee at this time – onward and upward!
Chair, West Country Crimestoppers