Justice Minister to meet rural mapping innovators

Published date: 07 March 2014 |
Published by: Charlie Croasdale
Read more articles by Charlie Croasdale


A UK GOVERNMENT minister has agreed to meet constituents in a rural Wrexham ward to discuss their anti-crime scheme.

Conservative MP Damian Green, Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, said there was a great deal of scope for the rural crime mapping scheme started in Esclusham and Ponciau to be rolled out nationwide.

Responding after Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones brought the matter to the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Green said technologies such as the mapping scheme would play a significant role in future policing and said he would be happy to meet constituents who have contributed to the scheme.

The pilot project, started by Neighbourhood Watch members in the Esclusham area last year, uses the knowledge of villagers built up over the years to create a digital map, which PCSOs carry with them in a digital tablet.

The maps advise the officers on who owns land and where people live in a bid to bring crime levels down in the villages.

Labour MP Ms Jones told the Leader last week she was delighted to have been given the opportunity to bring the initiative to Parliament and told the minister the scheme was vital.

She said: “The scheme has resulted in a major resource to assist rural policing teams.

“The data device at the heart of the project has provided police officers with information on demand – things such as a contact name and telephone number when they are dealing with an incident.

“This has proved extremely effective when officers need to ascertain land ownership in order to get in touch with the owners.”

She said the maps also help when animals are loose and said that when reassurance and intelligence is required the scheme comes into its own.

Mr Green said: “I congratulate not only Ms Jones on introducing the House to what she rightly describes as a good news story, but the residents in Esclusham and Ponciau who developed the mapping scheme.

“What wider applicability there can be for this type of local initiative? The answer is – a great deal. One of the biggest opportunities for the police to improve the service they give the public is through embracing new technology.

“It allows the police to address not only the challenges posed by rural crime, but new emerging threats.”

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