A COMMUNITY has ‘significantly’ reduced crime rates in its area through social media.
After months of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour, residents in Uplands, Fareham took action and created a Facebook group to report crime.
Devida Bushrod started the group, called Uplands Watch, earlier this year.
She said: ‘Back in August, I noticed a number of parents in a local Facebook school group reporting that their cars had been entered and contents stolen.
‘In order to monitor the activity and make others aware of it, I launched Uplands Watch as a place where people could share information.’
The group now has 539 members and residents have seen a drop in crime.
Devida said: ‘We have been able to share information between ourselves and get a good description of individuals who seem to be carrying out these break-ins.
‘From there, Uplands people have been able to utilise their CCTV and get images of the individuals and share them with the police.
‘We have seen a complete reduction in all attempted break-ins and anti-social behaviour.’
Sergeant Mark Lamper from Fareham’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: ‘Social media groups are an excellent way for the community to keep up to date with what is happening in their neighbourhood.
‘We would always advise that social media groups do not share the names or images of suspects or suspicious persons as this could have a number of unintended consequences.
‘Releasing this type of information could also detrimentally impact police investigations and significantly reduce the opportunity to secure a successful conviction by impacting the evidential value of this material if a criminal offence has been identified.’
The Facebook group has not only made a difference to crime rate in the area, but has also united the community.
Group admin Dave Aston said: ‘Uplands Watch is aimed at re-creating a community spirit that has somewhat slipped away in the past.
‘It’s about keeping a watchful eye on not only your own but your neighbours’ property and belongings and making people aware of any problems on the estate they may not be aware of.’
Dee added: ‘In the past everyone just kept themselves to themselves.
‘But now there is also a real sense of community spirit in the estate, with neighbours watching out for each other and we are getting to know one another.
‘There is even a talk of all meeting up for a drink together.’