‘We are coming to get you’, that is the hard-hitting warning being issued to criminals across Ashfield.
The crime-cracking message has been issued by top cop Insp Nick Butler following the recent success of a hard-hitting campaign, which has seen a dramatic drop in crime rates across the area.
Now Insp Butler is vowing to build on that success as he and his officers prowl the streets of Ashfield to slash crime even further.
Inspector Butler, who is the policing inspector for Ashfield south, issued the warning as part of an ongoing poster campaign warning potential thieves that they are being watched.
Now, 18 months after the posters were first launched, a study has revealed that there has been a 40 per cent reduction in crime in the area, which includes Annesley, Selston, Underwood and Jacksdale as well as parts of Newstead and Hucknall.
The poster, which features Insp Butler’s eyes along with the dramatic warning ‘Thieves. We are watching you’, has been displayed in front of bike racks, car parks, petrol stations and shops across the area and the idea is to show would-be thieves that police know where they are operating.
Figures show that the number of thefts were consistent throughout 2010 and 2011, apart from a slight increase in July 2011.
But since the posters were implemented in February last year the numbers have dropped significantly, especially in comparison with neighbouring districts.
Insp Butler said: “It all started after I read some research from Manchester University about how to make posters more visible.
“We photographed my own eyes and now it forms a template. Shop keepers say they are now using it and it’s also on petrol forecourts and sheds.
Now forces in other parts of the country are using the poster in a bid to crack down on thefts.
“We created the poster two years ago and they can use it for free,” he said.
“People from various police forces have contacted me and it’s going to spread like wildfire.”
Meanwhile, Insp Butler has also moved to reassure residents that crime was at an all-time low but that people should always make sure their belongings are safe.
“We are at record low levels in Ashfield south,” he said.
“But crime does still happen and most thefts are opportunist. We have bailed someone overnight who had been walking down the street trying car doors.”