Headlines: October 4th, 2004

A new document has been launched to highlight best practice in promoting the work of local councils and partner agencies in fighting crime and disorder. “Spreading the Word” has been produced by the Local Government Information Unit in association with the Home Office.The LGIU says making neighbourhoods safer is a key priority for many local authorities because the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 imposes on them and police authorities a statutory duty to establish local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. It says strategies being developed locally rely on effective communications between all the organisations involved in partnership work and with the public.

“Spreading the Word” looks at examples of best practice from around the country in responding to the challenges of raising public awareness of the steps being taken to tackle crime, disorder and drug misuse. It also contains information about how to get further advice and support on developing anti-crime communications strategies.

LGIU Policy Officer Austen Cutten, who is the author of “Spreading the Word”, said, “Effective and co-ordinated communications work is central to the task of combating crime and is not merely a bolt-on function for political PR purposes.”

He added that the document was designed to show how local councils and their partner organisations could be more effective in communicating their efforts to the public to raise awareness and so ease the fear of crime that plagued many local communities.