‘Sexting’ is becoming a growing blot on a local policing landscape where harrassment statistics have nudged up, burglary is down and violence with injury is so far on a par with last year.
So Inspector Leslie Badger reported to Dromore Community Police Liaison Committee when it met last week.
Reported as a current and growing problem, ‘sexting’ is the term applied to sending explicit images by text or e-mail. Inspector Badger urged all present at last week’s meeting to spread the word that anyone found with an explicit image on their phone can be prosecuted, even if they did not take the image and didn’t pass it on to anyone else.
The inspector went on to note a slight increase in harrassment statistics but added that most victims chose not to take the matter any further.
Violence with injury remained the same as this time last year, he said, with 22 incidents this year to date.
Burglary, meanwhile, was down by five crimes , he said; a spike experienced when travelling criminals passed through Dromore had not recurred. With some burglaries still a case of thieves simply walking into open houses, Inspector Badger again pleaded for the public to ensure they locked and secured their homes and not to leave in their gardens tools that could be used to aid in a home break-in.
The inspector further reported a small rise - 104-106 - in anti-social behaviour locally, though he stressed that it was a wide term, taking in noisy vehicles or neighbours.
A slight rise in overall crime was partly due, he said, to the fact that people were more willing to report crime.
Inspector Badger also highlighted the re-launch of the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators Text Alert Scheme, which will allow police to share relevant information - such as suspicious vehicles or individuals - with Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators.
Helen Coop, the Community Safety Warden who covers the Dromore area, reported on her work, taking in local parks and areas experiencing anti-social behaviour; she outlined practical approaches to tackling issues such as liaising on improved lighting or the removal of graffiti or broken glass.
Helen urged residents to contact her with any concerns. Dromore CPLC will meet next on Wednesday, March 5. For information on Dromore CPLC, Banbridge PCSP, or Neighbourhood Watch, contact PCSP staff on 028 4062 0248 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org - for information on PSNI statistics or initiatives contact the Dromore Police Team on 0845 600 8000.