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Coventry Police Step Out On The Cyberwatch

Police in south Coventry are taking to the internet to unite communities in the fight against crime.

A dedicated inspector has been appointed to a special electronic beat covering the Canley to Walsgrave areas around the south side of the city.

Henry Allcock’s role is to get different neighbourhood watch and community groups together and use the internet to spread crime prevention information.

He was appointed to the role after learning how to use the internet and write websites in his spare time.

For Insp Allcock, who had been in charge of the Fletchampstead sector for several years, it is a new challenge.

He was asked to take on the role as he is in a unique position to mix policing skills with knowledge of computers – he is currently doing a part time computer degree.

His website, called M2 Cyberwatch after the police division it covers, is constantly evolving and is dedicated to the community he serves.

He said:

“The site is there for the people. It isn’t a force web site.

“The reaction I have been getting is amazing. In the past people have accused the police of not doing enough to help.

“But when they hear about the website they are impressed. It is something that is there just for them.”

Insp Allcock realised that many neighbourhood watch co-ordinators had access to email and saw the potential the internet had for spreading information quickly.

Some of the pages are limited by password to the co-ordinators, so they can have access to confidential information that will enable them to spread up-to-date crime prevention information.

But others are there to give any surfers advice about crime.

Insp Allcock added:

“We can swap stories and learn from other forces in different parts of the country. The internet is ideal for that."

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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / West Midlands Police / 20 Jun 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM