Lowestoft Batman in bid to beat burglars

ONLOOKERS could have been forgiven for doing a double-take - as a caped crusader drove a double decker bus around the streets of Lowestoft.

But the superhero Batman did land in town on Friday September 16 to promote a campaign to beat the burglars locally.

The Crimestoppers burglary initiative was launched by the fearless Batman, with the special message that people who contact Crimestoppers can fight crime without revealing their identity - just like the superhero.

And as he raised public awareness and encouraged people to volunteer information in a bid to halt the tide of break-ins, the independent crime-fighting charity unveiled different styles of postcard, which will be delivered into the homes of 20,000 people in Lowestoft in forthcoming weeks.

The postcards appeal for information on burglary and handling stolen goods, and tell people about the rewards system that are operated.

'Crimestoppers takes information about crime 100pc anonymously – we don't take any personal details, calls are not traced or recorded, people do not have to give a statement to the police or go to court,' Ann Scott, Crimestoppers' eastern regional manager, said. 'These are big reasons why some people come to us instead of the police and why we have received over 1.2 million calls to date.'

Batman toured Lowestoft on the Four Towns Bus, which had been donated to Crimestoppers for the day by The Community Forum in Lowestoft. Starting off at ASDA, Batman then winged his way to the shops on Westwood Avenue and then to the town centre.

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'We handed out Crimestoppers information and talked to the public about what we do and Batman driving a double decker bus certainly turned some heads on the roads of Lowestoft!' Ms Scott said.

'Batman and Crimestoppers representatives were well received – many thought that Crimestoppers was part of the police or the television programme Crimewatch - so they found it very interesting that we are a charity that has been running for 23 years.

'The fact that they can make a difference in their community without getting too involved and having to go to court for days on end was enlightening for them – they felt that this safe alternative to going to the police was very useful and could be seen as a lifeline by those intimated by criminals,' she added.

Crimestoppers ran a similar campaign in Clacton in recent months - and it was such a success that it produced a 40pc increase in Crimestoppers information and 3 arrests.

'It gave us a chance to tell people that Crimestoppers has nearly 500 volunteers UK wide but no active volunteers in Suffolk,' Ann Scott said.

'We are currently looking for those with the following skills to join us in the fight against crime: media, PR, marketing, fundraising, IT, finance, events organising, volunteer development, business and networking.'

Anyone with information on burglaries or handling stolen goods should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Crimebusters – pages 14 and 15

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