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Crime prevention activity and safe and well visits are taking place today in the Leadhills Way and Whisperwood Way area of Bransholme, Hull. This Community Action Day is part of a year-long initiative working with residents to make homes safer after the Garths area which has been identified as a long-term burglary and fire risk hotspot.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Humberside Police and other partners will be in the area between 9am and 4pm, helping local residents to reduce the number of burglaries in the area. The local community policing team, community safety volunteers and representatives from Hull City Council, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Riverside Housing, Urban Community Group and the Neighbourhood Networks team will be visiting properties.

Residents will be offered a home security survey, fitting free outbuilding alarms and encouraging greater emphasis on preventing crime on their street. Residents will be given practical advice about how to reduce the risk of homes being targeted by burglars, including details of other target hardening equipment for home owners to deter criminality at their address.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will be on hand to assess any potential fire risks in the home, test smoke alarms and give relevant fire prevention advice. Support will also be offered to help registering for a free Immobilise account and assistance with uploading details of valuables onto the site.

Residents from the area had already received information about the event. The joint effort involved residents being visited by teams of community safety partners who provided:

  • Fire safety advice to ensure the safety of the occupants and their property
  • Crime prevention advice to reduce the likelihood of an residents homes or vehicles being targeted by criminals
  • Identifying residents who have been victims of repeated arson or crime
  • Installing target hardening measures, such as smoke alarms
  • Marking property with a UV pen to allow identification if stolen
  • Assisting residents in setting up a account so they can register valuables on-line which will assist police in identifying if stolen so it can be returned and bring offenders to justice

The overriding theme for the project was to empower residents with fire safety and crime prevention knowledge, which in turn will hopefully inspire residents to take more responsibility for safety within their homes and become more vigilant, protecting themselves and their communities.

Allen Cunningham, Public Safety North Bank Manager, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, believes that the project can have a real impact:

“We have concerns about the recent spate of antisocial behaviour involving fire across Bransholme. This is an exciting initiative, working in a co-ordinated approach alongside our colleagues at Humberside Police. If successful, the project can be replicated across other problem areas of Humberside, to make our communities safer.”

Four events have taken place so far this year, with 451 residents visited, 399 alarms fitted, 236 cycles uploaded to Immobilise and 53 high-risk fire referrals made to Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. Following the third event, crime figures showed a 38 per cent reduction in out-building burglaries.

PC Steve Hepworth from the Community Policing Team, welcomes the multi-agency approach:

"Initiatives like this are essential in helping residents to protect themselves and have proved invaluable in reducing crime in other areas. Often, simple changes to home security can be the difference in keeping a property safe and secure, we want to use Wednesday’s visit as an opportunity to help reduce crime and keep people and their belongings safe and away from prying eyes.”

The crime prevention events were funded by Hull City Council North Carr Area, after the Garths area of the city was identified as a long-term burglary hotspot. The event will be supplemented with operational activity targeting those committing burglary offences in the area.

PC Hepworth added:

"The events and activity that have taken place already this year have heightened residents’ awareness in preventing crime, while increasing reporting of those offending in their neighbourhood. We are confident that this week’s event and subsequent operational activity will continue to have a positive impact on the community, securing property, making residents feel safer and further reducing crime. I encourage residents to support the police in our endeavor to reduce crime by reporting those involved in criminality or people who are acting suspiciously in their area by calling us on 101 or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."