Attempting to stop towpath crime

Published: Monday, 28 September 2009

SUCH is the level of crime and anti-social behaviour on the towpath of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal around Pendle, that a pioneering scheme has been started to attempt to combat it.

Canal Watch has now been launched, with not only the people of the area being involved, in keeping a look-out but boaters too are being drawn into the scheme, Alan Tilbury reports.

Boat owners who sign up to the scheme are urged to display stickers in their windows, warning would-be thieves they are being watched.  Towpath users are being given booklets  containing information on how and when to report suspicious activity on the waterways.

Nikki Corbett, Crime Prevention Officer for Lancashire Police, explained:

"The principle of Canal Watch is very simple—report every incident of crime and disorder you experience or witness on the canal.

"The more we know about the types of crimes occurring, the more we can tackle them and prevent them from happening."

The crime prevention booklet also gives information on how to make boats  more secure, and is in response to the increase along the canal of boat break-ins and muggings of towpath users.

The scheme was officially launched at the annual canal festival at Reedley Marina, when everyone attending was encouraged to become a member of Canal Watch.

We understand other authorities on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal are interested in starting similar schemes to help bring down crime figures.