Axminster: police pioneer community messaging scheme

PUBLISHED: 12:04 18 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:59 15 June 2010

MORE than 1,600 homes have signed up for Axminster police s community messaging service since it was launched, but officers would like to see more join the scheme.

MORE than 1,600 homes have signed up for Axminster police's community messaging service since it was launched, but officers would like to see more join the scheme.

Such has been the success of the pilot scheme that it is now being rolled out in Tiverton and Plymouth, with further plans for the whole of Devon and Cornwall to have the service in the future.

Almost one third of the homes in the area are now in the scheme but the police want to increase the take up, saying it has great benefits for both the police and residents.

They also said it helped to make the area a safer place to live.

The scheme is designed to allow the police to make immediate contact with residents by either a pre-recorded telephone message or email.

It is being used to warn residents of scams and bogus callers, at the time they are taking place.

The system allows the police to contact individuals, a street, a postcode or the whole town but residents will only receive information that is relevant to them.

Among the successes of the scheme have been the arrest of two Chinese men, who had been selling contraband tobacco and were both illegal immigrants, and it was also used to remind people in Dalwood that a Satan Slaves funeral was taking place and that there would be an increase of motorbikes in their village.

A police spokesman said: "We have received a lot of praise for the scheme, with more and more residents coming forward, asking to join. They have said it's a fantastic idea and the ones that are on the scheme say how useful it is."

He said people can sign up by entering their details online by going to neighbourhoodpolicing.devon-cornwall.police.uk (the www. is not required), and typing in their postcode and clicking on the community messaging registration form link, at the bottom.


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