Published 26 June 2017
A new scheme aimed at stopping doorstep criminals before they can strike was launched today in West Dunbartonshire.
West Dunbartonshire Community Watch is a new initiative led by a partnership of Trading Standards, West Dunbartonshire Council, Police Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland. The aim is to effectively share information on the methods and tricks used by would-be doorstep criminals in an attempt to prevent anyone else falling victim to their scams.
Doorstep crime is the name given to crimes carried out by bogus callers and rogue traders who call uninvited at your home under the guise of legitimate business or trade. It includes distraction burglary, bogus callers, rogue traders and unscrupulous sales people.
A West Dunbartonshire Community Watch pilot scheme was launched in Silverton, Dumbarton, and Parkhall, Clydebank today, Monday 26th June. After this time community events to raise awareness of the scheme will be held over the forthcoming months. It is hoped that by engaging fully with the community we can ensure the Community Watch messaging system is far reaching and inclusive for all residents of the community. It is also hoped that in carrying out this engagement we will create improved community connectivity.
The idea is for members of the public to sign up to West Dunbartonshire Community Watch, either online at www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk or by filling in a freepost form. The forms will be delivered to houses in Silverton and Parkhall over the coming weeks and will also be available at libraries in the pilot areas.
Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “We often find that people who have been victims of doorstep crime are ashamed or too embarrassed to report it because they are left feeling foolish for having been taken in. The fact is that these criminals are very good at what they do and there is nothing to be ashamed about. If we talk to each other about these things, we can help others not to fall victim and we can all be more aware of the risks.”
West Dunbartonshire Community Watch is designed as a preventative tool and it will rely heavily on the community getting involved and sharing their experiences.
Inspector Quinn from Police Scotland said: "The Community Network Scheme is a very useful resource as we continue to target doorstep crime in our communities. We are delighted to be working with West Dunbartonshire Council and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland in support of this scheme. I would encourage residents in the pilot areas of Parkhall and Silverton to register for the scheme so they receive alerts on doorstep crime from Police Scotland and our partners in Trading Standards. I would also encourage the family and friends of those residents who don’t have access to email or mobile phones to register on their behalf so they can provide them with information on any alerts that are sent out. The community policing teams across West Dunbartonshire will continue to work with our partners to tackle doorstep crime and if anyone has concerns about security or safety I would urge them to contact us on 101 for advice. "
For more information on the initiative, please visit www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk