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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 205

Date:- 12  June 2005

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24 hour Crimeline launched to combat anti-social behaviour

MEMBERS of the public are being asked to assist in a campaign against the growing problem of anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods by reporting any incidents anonymously to a new 24 hour national Crimeline telephone service being promoted by Zurich Municipal, the UK’s leading provider of insurance and risk management to the public services.

Building on the success of its national anti-fraud hotline for local authorities, launched earlier this year, that in some cases led to a 30% reduction in the number of fraudulent claims, the new Crimeline will be aimed at Housing Associations and Local Authorities in a bid to stamp out any behaviour deemed to be anti-social. This will include; graffiti, vandalism, drug use and arson in public areas as well as housing benefit fraud, council tax fraud and other low level crime in their neighbourhood.

Andrew Jepp, Head of Housing for Zurich Municipal, commented:- “Crimeline has been designed to give honest people a simple solution to a growing problem. Information given is treated confidentially and can be used to collate information that could lead to an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) or other appropriate action against the offender.”

Anti-social behaviour amounts to an annual cost of £3.375bn, according to the latest available statistics from the Home Office. If the latest ‘whistle-blowing’ hotline has the same effect as the anti-fraud hotline, this figure could be reduced considerably. 

Steve Jackson, National Fraud Controller for Zurich Municipal, who was formerly an officer with Lancashire Constabulary for 20 years, said:- “Anti-social behaviour concerns everyone in the community and Crimeline raises awareness and provides a tool for law-abiding citizens to help clean up their neighbourhoods. A simple anonymous phone-call can go a long way in reducing crime and improving quality of life for every member of the public.”

The hotline, being run by leading independent insurance claims management and loss adjusting services company Cunningham Lindsey, will be promoted through a series of Zurich Municipal endorsed posters and leaflets. The posters carrying slogans such as ‘vandalism is just a stones throw from court’ will be displayed in public buildings, while the leaflets will be distributed throughout the community calling for members of the public to be vigilant and report any form of crime in their area.

Crimeline, which is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is available to housing associations and local authorities wishing to adopt the service.


A TALENTED amateur singer from Liverpool is to represent the city in the national final of a top talent contest. Roger Rhodes was runner up in the regional final of the Silver Stars talent contest, which took place at the Floral Hall in Southport on Wednesday 1 June. The 68 year-old from Halewood, brought the house down with his performances of 'I'm In The Mood For Love' and 'You Belong To Me'. The event gives people aged over 60 a chance to show off their hidden talents on stage. 

Roger said:- "It was an absolutely fantastic feeling to get second place and earn a place in the final. You always hope you're in with a chance, but to actually be representing Liverpool in the national final is wonderful. It will be terrific to sing on the big stage in Southport, and although I'm sure I'll be a bit nervous on the night, I'm really looking forward to it!"

Councillor Warren Bradley, executive member for leisure, said:- "Congratulations to Roger on his success in the regional final. He is a fantastic ambassador for the city, and we wish him all the best in the final."

Liverpool won the national final in 2003 when the Tant sisters from Fazakerley scooped the first prize of £1,000. 

The final takes place at the Floral Hall in Southport on July 27.

Tickets cost £4 and are available by calling (01704) 500036.

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