At the start of 2018 we had no Fields of Vision project and no members. As we near the end of the year we have a well established group in the Worth Valley, a growing group in Staplehurst, Kent and a third about to be started in Silsden, West Yorkshire. The original pilot Worth Valley Fields of Vision page now has over 75 members on the WhatsApp conversation and twice that many on our facebook page. The information we are gathering and sharing on this is proving really useful to see paterns emerging and we have had several small successes in terms of reuniting people with stolen goods, pre-warning people to be extra vigilant when a criminal is in the area and also an extra benefit we hadn’t anticipated, piece of mind. On a couple of occasions when people have seen something suspicious and been worried about it our members have been able to say no that was just so and so and this has put their minds at rest.
We are still awaiting our first real ‘catch’ in terms of using the system to help police catch someone red handed but this will happen its only a matter of time.
The unfortunate thing is that the main prompt for new groups and new members is the occurance of crime itself, which is a little like closing the door after the horse has bolted. But at least these victims of crime make for great members as they want to stop further crime effecting others in their communities.
Another problem we face is making sure that people join the WhatsApp conversations as well as the facebook groups, while facebook is useful it is the WhatsApp that will allow us to acheive real results so please make sure you have gone to fieldsofvision.org.uk and joined an existing group. For those who have joined a group but do not live in that area how about setting up a group in your area too, its really quite easy and the groups can grow quickly now we know better how to attract new members.
Overall the paterns we are seeing are that once the group starts there does appear to be a fall in crime in that area though this could be a co-insidence.
The main thing the group has acheived so far is enabling people to feel they are doing something about the rural crime in their area rather than just sitting back and allowing it to happen and as we said above we have now got all our fishing tackle in place and we’ve learned how to fish, its only a matter of time now until we catch a big one!
Thank you all for your support in 2017 and our new years resolution for 2018 should be to increase groups and increase membership as we know can see a link between group size and the success of the project.