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Brandon meeting to have TV-style voting

PUBLISHED: 10:02 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:27 07 July 2010

Residents are being invited to take part in a TV game show-style live vote to let police know their views on crime.

People at a public meeting at Brandon this weekend will be given electronic handsets to use in the same way that television audiences use interactive buttons on shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Ask the Audience.

Residents are being invited to take part in a TV game show-style live vote to let police know their views on crime.

People at a public meeting at Brandon this weekend will be given electronic handsets to use in the same way that television audiences use interactive buttons on shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Ask the Audience.

The results will be flashed up on a giant screen in the sports centre where the meeting is being held and compared with actual recorded crime figures.

Sgt Liam Garrard said the session, starting at 3pm, will give police an opportunity to find out the concerns of local people and the information will be used to shape Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)priorities. “We want to know people's perception of crime. This is as important as what offences are actually occurring and by using the interactive voting equipment, people can show us how they feel about crime, safety and quality of life without having to stand up and be identified,” he said.

The session will also include, like an episode of Crimewatch, the reviewing of the most high-profile crime in the town in recent years - the daylight knifepoint abduction, rape and sexual assault of a 21-year-old young woman - giving an insight into the techniques used in solving it and putting the attacker behind bars for life.

Last October at Ipswich Crown Court, Robert English, 58, of Norwich, was given a life sentence after admitting kidnap, false imprisonment, two counts of rape and two of sexual assault.

His victim was being a Good Samaritan when she answered his request to help him lift a heavy bag of shopping into his car in the Tesco store car park but it was to be the start of a nightmare for her.

Sgt Garrard said introducing a major investigation team (MIT) allowed detectives to concentrate on gathering evidence and solving the crime while the SNT officers provided reassurance and support through additional patrols and staffing a police “pod” at the supermarket.

He said hundreds of people visited the pod to receive personal safety advice and alarms ­ - more than 500 were issued - and pass on information to assist the investigation team.

“Without the support of the local community, the offender may not have been brought to justice and the SNT and the MIT would like to thank them for their support during this time,” said Sgt Garrard.

People at the meeting will also hear some positive crime-fighting news because the amount of recorded crime in Brandon town in 2008 fell to its lowest level for a decade.


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