Feeds

Charities turn to text to tackle gangs

SMS 4 lyfe

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Two organisations in Southwark are launching an SMS service designed to help people in gangs or those affected by gang crime.

Launched in response to community concerns about gang crime and violence, the Gangs Advice Training and Exit Strategy (GATES) project will provide two free services, a text alert service and a telephone advice line.

A joint initiative between Victim Support Southwark and youth agency Kickstart, the scheme will kick off in earnest over the first weekend of August 2007 after a soft launch at the end of July.

Pat Green, borough director at Victim Support Southwark told GC News on 2 August 2007: "The text service aims to inform young people about events that are going on in the community, while the advice line gives people information about youth services available in the borough."

Subscribers will receive two free texts a week, which could be in the form of an alert, a poll, or a competition. Examples of alerts might include:

  • Kickstart Youth Inclusion programme is providing free sports training for young people aged 16-24. Call...
  • After the recent shooting a community meeting will be held at...

Meanwhile, surveys might include questions such as: "If you owned a gun and Southwark ran a gun amnesty would you deposit your gun?" and "Do you feel safe in Southwark?"

According to Green, the polls facility will also help agencies gauge what the "temperature" is like among young people in terms of these issues, while also making the service a two-way communication tool.

Running alongside the text service, a free advice line will provide information and guidance to people who are concerned about gang activity or who have fallen into the wrong crowd and do not how to break free. People wishing to remain anonymous can do so, as the services do not require users to give their name or address.

Abi Goodwin of Kickstart said: "The GATES service will not only provide advice on leaving a gang and crime prevention, it will also highlight free sports and social programmes that young people can get involved with.

"However, the GATES services are designed to help the whole community, from young people in gangs to all those affected by gang crime, including family members, local residents, teachers and community leaders."

Anita Reid, serious and violent crime caseworker at Victim Support Southwark, added: "Recent events in London have caused a growing concern about gang crime in the local community. The text alert service will allow them to receive and retain information that can help them avoid and escape gang crime."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.