How Facebook is fighting crime in this area of Bolton

Ryan Bamforth set up the Horwich and Blackrod Crime group with his partner Gillian <i>(Image: Ryan Bamforth)</i>
Ryan Bamforth set up the Horwich and Blackrod Crime group with his partner Gillian (Image: Ryan Bamforth)

The power of social media is helping to tackle crime in one area of the borough.

Horwich residents are directly linked to a police officer through Facebook.

Ryan Bamforth, 42, and his wife Jillian Walton, who live in Horwich, set up a special page for residents across Horwich to share information on crimes.

Ryan invited local officers to use the information from residents to combat crimes.

The page has almost 1,000 members including local officers.

And since the group has been up and running, Ryan said the group has grown into something bigger than he expected.

The Bolton News: Ryan Bamforth
The Bolton News: Ryan Bamforth

Ryan Bamforth (Image: Ryan Bamforth)

He said: “At the moment we have got 960 members, and our group is called Horwich and Blackrod Crime.

"It was set up by me and my partner and we’ve had a direct link to one of our community police officers, PC Mohammed Amkeched.

"What we have been doing is any vital information that anyone has had or if any residents see anything which has been going on in the area we put it in that group.

“A lot of the car thieves and drug dealers, they have got routines, and we all know the areas that they go through and for years and years and years I was reporting it to the police, but this was going through to call handlers and unfortunately they weren’t getting the information to our local community police officers.

“So, I processed a complaint and over a process of three years we finally got through to speaking to the inspector in the area and that’s then when they put us in contact with our local officer.

“And now in partnership with him, he lets us know if anything is going on in the area and we work together to prevent crime.

“The group is working, local officers are seeing what is posted and things are being done to combat the crime.

The Bolton News: Horwich and Blackrod Crime group
The Bolton News: Horwich and Blackrod Crime group

Horwich and Blackrod Crime group (Image: Ryan Bamforth)

“In addition to this we have also linked in with a group in Westhoughton, the crime and safety group, as people come in from outside areas causing crime.

"They see what we post and we see what they post and it is just a better way to communicate throughout the areas.

“The group is working and I would most definitely recommend as many areas within the borough to set one of these up so we can link with each other.

“I don’t want to take all the credit for this as it is a community initiative, the community as a whole has done this.

“With the formation of this group it’s proving that the right people do care, it’s just they didn’t know how to voice it, and this has been a catalyst really which has grown to be bigger than we were expecting.

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“It was actually a local resident called Barry Jubb who thought of the idea to create a specific group.

“We just enacted his idea for him. Barry has lived in Horwich for decades, longer than I've lived so only right I give credit for the idea to him.”

Ryan is appealing for other residents to join so even more crimes can be combatted.

To join the group, go to Horwich and Blackrod Crime on Facebook.