Electronic front for crime war

E-COPS will soon be coming to Huntingdonshire, marking the start of a new electronic crime-fighting scheme. The system involves sending to residents regular e-mails giving localised details about crime, patrols, police priorities, incidents of note, and a

E-COPS will soon be coming to Huntingdonshire, marking the start of a new electronic crime-fighting scheme.

The system involves sending to residents regular e-mails giving localised details about crime, patrols, police priorities, incidents of note, and advice.

It was devised by Sergeant Nik Percival about three years ago and originally involved sending regular e-mails to a handful of housing managers on his beat.

E-Cops has since evolved and will be spread across the county by Apri.


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It is already in use in South Cambridgeshire - including Cambourne - and has more than 4,100 subscribers countywide.

Sgt Percival said: "As a local officer, I was getting a bit frustrated by the negative reputation my beat was getting and didn't think the positive work going on in East Chesterton was getting the public's attention.

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"So I tried to work out a way to communicate this. I started by sending regular e-mails to housing managers and then extended it to one person on every street.

"Then I was joined on the beat by Pc Steve Hinks and he could see the potential. We put leaflets through every door and got a lot more people signing up."

A further two PCSOs began working on the initiative and the name E-cops was adopted after it was suggested by a resident.

Sgt Percival said: "The community has got a thirst for communication with the police and E-cops could be put into any area because people always want to speak to their local officer."

John Fuller, community engagement manager in southern division, said: "E-cops subscribers are helping to identify the real issues that are affecting local communities and providing information and feedback to help us, and our partners, resolve local problems.

"I would encourage anyone who has access to a computer and wants to know what the police are doing in their community or wishes to have their say about what matters, to sign up today."

INFORMATION: Residents or businesses in South Cambridgeshire can already sign up to the e-mails by visiting www.cambs.police.uk. Huntingdonshire's E-Cops will start by April.

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