FAKE street attacks are to be set up in attempt to get people to tackle muggers themselves, an initiative from new anti-crime charity Witness Confident.
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“Mock muggings can be a way of working with the police to test public reaction,” said Witness Confident chief Guy Dehn.
“The fact is these days far too many people assume that if they take the trouble to get involved, it will just cause them grief.”
Witness Confident don’t advocate stepping in to stop violence “unless you are really sure what you are doing”.
Instead, they want to stop what they call the “walk-on by culture” be getting more people to act as witnesses to crime as a way of improving the conviction rate.
“If you were mugged on a busy high street, how confident are you that any of the people who witnessed the attack would give a statement to the police?” asked Dehn.
Among the Witness Confident tips for what to do if you see a street crime are: phone 999 immediately; shout “help” or “police”; support others who get involved and take a photo or video of the incident.
It is thought photos and videos of crimes – as with the pictures of the beating of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demo earlier this year – are a better aid to the legal process than CCTV cameras, which, a Scotland Yard report revealed last month, only help solve one crime per camera a year.