Crimestoppers targets taggers

Crimestoppers, the crime prevention charity, has signalled its support for the Government's Anti-Social Behaviour Bill by joining forces with the Home Office on a new anti-graffiti campaign.

Billed as an "offensive against unsightly and expensive graffiti tags", the Name That Tag campaign offers a £500 reward to members of the public who call Crimestoppers and identify graffiti offenders.

Posters advertising the reward and the Crimestoppers phoneline number will be displayed on 500 bus shelters across London.

"It seems silly to promote crime reduction and advice without using the Crimestoppers number as an extra tool," said Brian Warham, director of operations. "Graffiti costs millions of pounds a year in removal costs and creates a fear of crime in communities. We have to do everything we can to reduce this activity, as well as dealing with more serious crimes such as muggings and burglaries."

Crimestoppers receives a £750,000 annual grant from the Home Office, but will not receive any additional funding for handling the calls resulting from the anti-graffiti campaign.

However, the charity hopes that the initiative will help it forge new relationships with local authorities and prospective corporate partners.

It also believes that the campaign will raise awareness of Crimestoppers' work. A recent NOP poll revealed that less than 2 per cent of the general public recognise that Crimestoppers is a registered charity, but Warham denies that the campaign will reinforce the view that the organisation is a public service.

"Even when they learn that we're a charity, many people think Crimestoppers should be funded by government anyway," he said. "It's an uphill struggle, but I think any campaign that gets our name out to the public will prove beneficial in raising our profile and hopefully increase donations."

Crimestoppers' stance on the Anti-social Behaviour Bill flies in the face of many youth and crime prevention charities that have voiced strong opposition to the legislation. In a joint statement, a coalition of organisations - including Barnardo's, The Children's Society and the NSPCC - said that preventative rather than punitive approaches are often more effective in dealing with anti-social behaviour.

The Prince's Trust recently published research that revealed that 92 per cent of all 14-25 year-olds surveyed feel let down by a poor support services in their local communities. It also highlighted the dire lack of leisure or recreational facilities in many disadvantaged areas.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus