TIM DREW: Police aiming to work with volunteers to help identify and support vulnerable victims of fraud

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Sussex Police is seeking to engage with a number of volunteer groups and organisations (including Neighbourhood Watch), as part of Operation Signature, which is aimed at identifying and supporting vulnerable victims of fraud.

Such victims tend to be targeted repeatedly, and require ongoing support following police involvement to ensure that they are not swindled again.

In conjunction with the Home Office, Sussex Police will develop a Partnership Agreement for each agency which will safeguard individual and organisational interests. This will detail the arrangements necessary for allocating and concluding referrals, training, vetting requirements and the criteria for displaying formal police volunteer identification.

The idea is that selected volunteers be vetted and trained so that they can assist vulnerable victims of fraud who live in their area.

The volunteers would then be invited to accompany investigating officers to visit the victims, so that they can be personally introduced, and thereafter the volunteer will act as a reference point in the event of any further attempt at swindling. Any intervention will be as required, and may be minimal.

Sussex Police will provide dedicated points of contact that will be responsible for the allocation of all referrals and remains available to answer specific concerns or questions and deal with any matters the volunteer cannot resolve personally.

Volunteers will be provided with full training and all necessary crime prevention materials, including directories necessary for contacting to other agencies.

• The Heene Ward Neighbourhood Panel will meet between 7pm and 8pm at the Heene Community Centre, Heene Road, on Tuesday, August 4. The Marine Neighbourhood Panel will meet between 7pm and 8pm at the Committee Room, Worthing Leisure Centre, Shaftesbury Avenue, on Wednesday, August 6. The next Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Prevention Awareness Event will take place in Montague Place on Saturday, August 8, between 10am and 4pm, when a cycle marking service will be offered as part of Operation Velo.

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