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North City News: Text in to fight crime; CHELMSLEY WOOD.

PUPILS are being urged to help fight crime at the touch of a button.

Police called on youngsters to take advantage of a new text messaging scheme allowing them to send information about crime directly to officers through their mobile phones.

The message are converted into emails and received in the community safety bureau at Chelmsley Wood police station to be either dealt with by officers or passed to the council.

Officers hope the new scheme, which will be officially launched on Wednesday will help combat street crime. Sgt Charles Cain, of West Midlands Police, said he hoped youngsters who might be daunted by entering a police station would feel more comfortable passing on information electronically.

"We set up this text messaging service to allow an easily accessible way for young people to give us crime information," he said.

"We are aware coming into a police station can be an intimidating experience, and we wanted to set up a service to suit the needs of young people in this digital age."

The Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, which includes health groups and Solihull Council, has part-funded the project.

Inputs about the benefits of the service will also be given by officers in assemblies at Archbishop Grimshaw School in Chelmsley Wood.

Solihull Council's community boss, Coun David Bell, welcomed the scheme. "This is an excellent way for young people to be able to report crime," he said.

"We know they are often victims of crime, and can be reluctant to come forward."

Any youngster wishing to pass on crime information should text 07797 806080. But in an emergency, they should still call 999.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 26, 2006
Words:272
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