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Crime alerts in Rushcliffe, Gedling & Broxtowe
By claire carter : Nottingham Evening Post

EAGLE-EYED residents are helping police to catch law-breakers thanks to a new alert scheme.

Hundreds of people in Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe have signed up to Neighbourhood Alert, run by Notts Police. They are sent e-mails informing them of crimes in their area, such as burglaries, so they can be on their guard. Residents can e-mail police to tell them about problems like drug dealing on the streets.

The scheme started in July, and replaced an older version called Ringmaster, which was co-ordinated by Neighbourhood Watch. Ringmaster operated in Arnold, West Bridgford and Beeston before funding was withdrawn. This new system covers wider areas and so is open to more members.

Figures show 618 people have joined Neighbourhood Alert so far in Rushcliffe, 293 in Gedling and 367 in Broxtowe. Bob Vaughan-Newton, who runs Neighbourhood Alert for Notts Police, said it was useful to have the police directly involved in the alerts. "It enables us to have a flow of information to the public," he said. "We send out several messages a day. "A lot of these will go to all three areas, but the system means local messages can be sent out by officers about issues in that particular area." Each area has its own type of problems – Mr Vaughan-Newton said many alerts sent out in Gedling were about burglary.

He also said the police had also been helped thanks to tip-offs from residents. Information about drug dealing in Carlton led to two people being arrested, he said. "One of the most popular alerts is about scams," he said. "People are always interested in scams, they want to know how they can protect themselves from things like people wanting to fish for your bank details." Ringmaster ended at the end of March and was replaced by Neighbourhood Alert in July. Mr Vaughan-Newton admits in the transition they had lost some members and are keen to get more people involved. Most members are based in Rushcliffe, which Mr Vaughan-Newton puts down to people having money to have a computer and internet access at home. "We get quite a lot of information from Neighbourhood Alert, but we could do with a lot more," he said.

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