Local communities are going digital to beat crime

Alex Johnson

b15579f7e9977fc416ae2238a20664581df1bcc9 300x225 Local communities are going digital to beat crimeThree fifths of people in Britain are keen on using digital methods to stay one step ahead of local crime in their area, according to new research by Legal & General.

Their figures show that residents are already using, or are open to using, email updates from the police (56%), enewsletters (56%), local community email groups (50%), online forums (42%), local blog (42%), Facebook (38%) and Twitter (23%) to help beat local crime.

Over 40% of those surveyed said they are concerned about crime in their area, and nearly three quarters believe it is the responsibility of local residents to help keep communities safe.

The cities where respondents were most worried about local crime were Leicester (55%), Liverpool (54%), Manchester (54%) and Leeds (52%), and over half of those in each of these cities are using digital channels to stay informed about local crime (53% in Liverpool, 52% in Leeds, and 68% in Leicester).

Mike Lawler, director for Legal & General’s general insurance business, said: “It’s great to see that Brits are coming together ‘virtually’ to keep an eye on each other and their homes. It would be good to see more people getting involved in these crime prevention schemes. Darker evenings, as well as gifts in the house in the run up to and during Christmas, can make homes a more attractive target for burglars.

“We’d encourage anyone who isn’t ‘connected’ to their neighbours yet to check if a group already exists or start up their own group. Also consider subscribing to a local crime information blog and follow the local police on Twitter.”

However, Legal & General’s research reveals that there are still a number of Brits who are unwilling to participate at all. Over 28% say they don’t want to give their neighbours their contact details, even in the case of an emergency. Indeed, a quarter admit they would ignore a burglar alarm if they heard one sounding in their community, and just less than half say they would ignore a car alarm if they heard one going off.

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