Online survey decides crime-fighting plans

CRIME-fighting priorities for Hucknall are about to be set for the first part of the New Year — after locals had their say through an innovative online survey.

Every three months, as part of the ‘Neighbourhood Policing’ strategy, officers, including Hucknall’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, come together with residents to set three key targets.

But this time round, a high-tech weapon has been used to encourage the public to have a greater involvement in the process.

For a ‘Neighbourhood Priority Survey’ has been running via the Internet.

The system allows for users to highlight concerns ranging from rowdy behaviour and drinking on the street to burglary and out-of-control dogs.

Personal details are then rubberstamped before users can pinpoint problems on a map showing where an trouble has broken out on a particular street.

Hundreds of Hucknall residents have filled in the survey. Their input will be used on Tuesday January 17 to decide on the three crime and disorder priorities for the town until April.

Insp Butler said: “The response to the survey from Hucknall has been excellent. This is all about community involvement and working together to make the town safer. It is critical we listen to residents’ concerns.

“We are incredibly pleased with how things have gone. Information is a crucial commodity in our job and the more we can get from the public, in as many ways as possible, the more targeted our approach can be.”

Anyone who has signed up to the Neighbourhood Alert online system, which notified Hucknall residents about crime and disorder in the town via e-mail or text-message, has been invited to take part in the survey.

But anyone can log on at www.neighbourhoodprioritysurvey.co.uk and fill in a questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes.

At the meeting on January 17, police officers will present the survey findings. combined with crime data, and will come up with the priorities with help from local councillors, members of four Safer Neighbourhood Committees (SNCs) that run in Hucknall and members of the public.

The survey system will continue to run beyond this, and information will also be used to set crime-fighting priorities in April, July and October.

Insp Butler says the results of the survey can be used by himself and his officers at any time to target a particular crime hotspot or a spate of similar offences.

The current priorities for Hucknall, which were set last October, are anti-social behaviour in and around Goodall Crescent, anti-social behaviour on Broomhill Road and anti-social behaviour and drug-dealing on Nabbs Lane.

Measures taken in response have included extra patrols and signing up troublecausers to ‘acceptable behaviour contracts’.