An innovative Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) between police and members of the caravan holiday industry is set to make a new Caravan Park Watch Scheme ‘very effective’ in the fight against crime on the Lincolnshire coast, say Lincolnshire Police.
Caravan Park Watch Coastal towns, such as Skegness, Ingoldmells and Mablethorpe, have one of the highest concentrations of caravans in Europe and, early in 2014, Community Inspector Andy Morrice got together with caravan park owners and representatives from the caravan manufacture and insurance industries to discuss ways to help reduce the number of burglaries that occur each year, especially during the closed winter season.
The new Caravan Park Watch Scheme was launched following that early meeting and a number of new park policies have been introduced, such as the compulsory removal of televisions and valuables when caravans are ‘closed down’ for the winter.
However, one of most significant developments has been the introduction of the Information Sharing Agreement.
A number of ISAs exist already between Lincolnshire Police and our key partners, such as Local Authorities, Registered Social Landlords and other agencies and they allow police to share data, within strict guidelines and controls.
Inspector Morrice said: “The new ISA between ourselves and the Caravan Park Watch Scheme members will mean that we can share information about individuals we suspect are involved in caravan crime. We can give photos of those people to security staff on the parks so they know who to look out for and we can provide other data, as appropriate, if it helps to prevent crime”.
He added; “Recently released April crime figures already show a year-on-year 30 percent reduction in the ‘burglary other’ category, which includes caravans, and that’s great news, but I’m confident that this figure will continue to improve now we are all working together for a common goal”.
John Chappell, of Skegness Water Leisure, in Ingoldmells, said: “We are delighted to have been able to form such a productive, pro-active and positive partnership with Lincolnshire Police, which is already producing outstanding crime reduction figures for caravan parks and the wider community throughout the area. Caravans are at the very core of our local community and economy and the work of the partnership through Caravan Park Watch partnership can only enhance the whole community on the Lincolnshire Coast”.
He added, “This sense of community partnership has the potential to help make the area one of the safest in the UK for residents and the millions of people who come here every year for their holidays and day trips. As we move forward, we hope that more sites will sign up to the scheme, so that together as an industry, we can help Lincolnshire Police to help us. They can’t do it alone and, together, we can demonstrate to the public that we believe wholeheartedly in our community and are prepared to work hard with the Police to improve the lives of all residents and visitors alike”.