|Crime Prevention Office - “Neighborhood Watch” Scheme|
The Cyprus Police stresses the fact that, without the cooperation of the public, any measures it takes will not be enough to achieve the desired results of an effective prevention of crime.
Therefore, in the context of our efforts to prevent crime, we seek a close cooperation with citizens, because we believe that cooperation is essential for crime prevention as it is not the sole responsibility of the police but everyone's business.
At the beginning of 2011 the “Neighborhood Watch” Scheme was implemented on a pilot basis, in two areas of the Republic. This initiative is based on the work of volunteers in the community and with the close cooperation between the Neighborhood Watch members, the Local Community Police Officer, the Local Police Station and Local Authorities.
The Cyprus Police determined the following way of operation of the program:
1. The Police regularly inform and train the members of the NW Scheme, as well as the public, on issues related to crime prevention and the security of their property, through the use of informative material and the organization of seminars and lectures.
2. The Police inform the members of the NW Scheme about the crimes committed in their areas or about crimes that may impact their areas, giving them directions and requesting specific information from them, through SMS alerts.
3. The members of NW Scheme collect information regarding suspicious activities, suspicious persons or vehicles and communicate it to the police. In the event that immediate action is required (robbery, burglary, theft in progress, etc), the police are notified immediately through a telephone line, given by the police.
4. The police evaluate and use the information, by taking appropriate action in each case.
5. The police give feedback to the watchers regarding the results of their actions.
6. In cooperation with the watchers, the police evaluate the program and redefine goals and actions.
Due to the fact that the goals of the programme (raising awareness among the public, enhancement of the cooperation between the public and the police, reduction in criminality and the increase of the feeling of security among the public) have met with considerable success, the programme has been extended to 166 new areas (rural & urban) with the total of 78000 volunteers. The final goal is to implement this programme to all populated areas of the Republic.
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