Over Hulton Crime Prevention Whatsapp

Over Hulton Community Group | Tuesday 14 July 2020 | 0 Comments

The Over Hulton Community Group decided late last year that it was time to start taking positive action against crime in the area. A retired policeman resident came forward with a proposal to create a crime prevention Whatsapp. He entitled it OHIO – Over Hulton Information Outlet. Basically residents with smartphones subscribe to the Whatsapp. If they spot suspicious activity, scams, ASB – anything crime related - they message into the Whatsapp and everyone gets alerted immediately. Take a little example – it is after dark and someone is spotted rooting around. A message goes to OHIO with the location and every member in that street gets up and turns their lights on – suddenly the street is floodlit and the would-be perpetrator scarpers! There is a limit of 256 members on a Whatsapp group so the ex officer designed it so the region was split into eight areas – all linked through an Admin group – and two volunteers in each group were found to administrate the membership. As the same time as this was launched in October Over Hulton came under new police jurisdiction, namely Westhoughton. The officers have been made members of OHIO so receive immediate alerts. In a recent case of someone seen acting suspiciously an alert on OHIO saw police in the scene and investigating in EIGHT minutes. To date there are 605 Over Hulton residents signed up on the Whatsapp. It has been an outstanding success and has led to a superb relationship between police officers and residents.       

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