FROM THE SURREY POLICE –
Campaigns and operations kicking off this autumn A number of targeted campaigns are getting underway during the autumn, aimed at keeping the Surrey public safe, ensuring they have the confidence we’ll be there if they need us and relentless pursuit of criminals.
• Drive SMART – speeding campaign
The joint Surrey Police and Surrey County Council Drive SMART initiative will launch its autumn four-week long speeding campaign on Monday, 8 October.
While fatal road casualties have fallen over the last three years to 28 in 2011, serious injuries increased by 14% to 554 over that time. Data continues to show that speed is a significant contributory factor in road accidents; not necessarily through the exceeding of speed limits but through driving carelessly and not driving appropriately for the conditions.
The morning and evening peak traffic flows during autumn months – particularly in urban areas such as Guildford, Redhill and Epsom – attract most accidents, as do 30-mile an hour ‘A roads’.
The campaign will target young drivers between 16-24, who are most likely to be seriously injured, and older drivers between 40 and 49, who are most likely to be stopped for speeding. A mix of traditional media including bus backs, bill boards and radio, together with new media, including Flash video and social media, will be used to promote road safety, with the aim of reducing the numbers of killed or seriously injured on our roads.
• Domestic abuse awareness week
Surrey Domestic abuse awareness week, which starts on Monday, 15 October, is an annual awareness raising exercise that has been running in October for over a decade and is timed to reach residents in the build-up to Christmas. This is when domestic abuse traditionally increases as the pressures of family and money matters rise and an increase in alcohol consumption places additional strain on relationships.
Surrey Police is working on the campaign in partnership with Surrey County Council, Borough and District Councils, Domestic Abuse Outreach Services and other local domestic abuse providers. The focus of this year’s week is to encourage those close to a sufferer – be it a work colleague, neighbour, family member or close friend – to report domestic abuse.
The week will also aim to reach those who are experiencing domestic abuse themselves to raise awareness that it can be reported by contacting the police; the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously; or Domestic Abuse Outreach Services.
We will be promoting these messages via a series of roadshows, as well as advertising, including washroom stickers, promotional posters and credit card sized handouts.
• Honour based crime
A campaign to raise the awareness of honour based violence (HBV), forced marriage (FM) and female genital mutilation (FGM), which launched this month, aims to encourage victims of abuse to come forward and report their experiences; and to promote the Diversity Crimes Unit (DCU) that investigates honour based incidents.
Information has been posted on the Surrey Police website at www.surrey.police.uk/honour-based-crime. This includes contact details of the DCU and support organisations, videos on spotting the signs of forced marriage and a victim’s account of an honour based crime in Surrey. It is hoped that the campaign will encourage victims to contact the police so we can be there when they need us.
• Operation Candlelight – tackling burglary
Operation Candlelight, which tackles burglary, launches on Monday, 22 October and runs until Friday, 21 December. This is in response to the spike in dwelling burglaries seen during the autumn and winter months – likely to be caused by the longer, darker evenings which increase a burglar’s opportunity to offend.
Bus back advertising, direct mailing of burglary prevention cards to houses identified as being most at risk, roadshows and radio adverts are just some of the tactics being used to educate Surrey residents about dwelling burglaries and what they can to do to avoid becoming a victim of this distressing crime.
Overt and covert proactive police activity, targeting of known burglars and teaming up with Crimestoppers to appeal for information from members of the public who may know who is offending are also part of our strategy to relentlessly pursue criminals.
• Halloween and Bonfire Night
Our annual publicity campaign to help combat the risk of anti-social behaviour which traditionally increases during Halloween and Bonfire Night will start at the end of October. The four hotspot areas where most communications activity will be focussed are Stanwell, Farnham, Guildford town centre and Walton. Communications activity will include radio and newspaper advertising and we will be making more use of social media than in previous years.
There will be increased visible patrols across the county, and extra operational activity is being planned by the Neighbourhood policing teams.