Following an apparent spate of burglaries targeting Chinese families across the country, Birmingham City Councillor Alex Yip met with representatives from West Midlands police force last week looking into what more can be done to reassure people.
Many people were concerned and worried for the safety of their friends, family and the elderly after seeing videos of attacks and ransacked homes circulating social media that Cllr Yip felt compelled to set up an online petition.
In three weeks, the petition received 740 replies from people across the country with many comments asking for more support from the Police in Chinese, advice on how to protect their homes and extra patrols.
67% of respondents said that they were feeling ‘very worried’ and 57% feeling ‘very scared’ because of the recent events.
The police have said that although the public perception is that Chinese families are being targeted, this is not borne out by statistics. ‘Residential burglary remains a force priority and overnight crime is discussed daily with senior managers, investigators and analysts.’ Sarah Long, Birmingham Police Sergeant.
Cllr Yip from Birmingham City Council is pushing the police force to do more targeted-awareness campaigns in Chinese to advise Chinese families how to better protect themselves in their homes and how to protect against cybercrime. He is also pushing for the police to produce more information in Chinese, promoting dedicated Chinese speaking officers and phone lines and reporting centers.
Cllr Yip comments “I am determined that the police force take this issue very seriously and look at better supporting our community through changes and targeted programs that actually work. The online petition is still active and I encourage everyone to take just a few moments to fill in the survey. All data will be kept confidentially by only myself. If there is enough people replying from across the country I will seek to escalate this to the Home Office.’
Top Tips for Staying Safe:
Extracted from www.getsafeonline.org
- Wherever possible, do not use your device or have it on show when walking around.
- Be aware of who is around you and may be watching what you are doing online.
- Do not get distracted by somebody who could steal your device.
- Do not leave smartphones and tablets on view through windows and glass doors.
- Never leave valuables visible in a car. Even if you are in the car, your laptop could be vulnerable to theft when you are stationary (for example, whilst parking or at traffic lights).
- To avoid being abused online, review what online information exists about you and keep it to a minimum.
- Regularly change your e-mail and passwords for key online accounts and keep them safe.
- Ensure that your computer and mobile devices have up-to-date internet security software installed and turned on and ensure your wireless hub/router has security turned on.
- Be aware of fraudsters asking you to transfer moneyto other people – whether it is for travel, education, family emergencies, or family support as these products and services may not actually exist.
- Never send money to someone you have not met in person and never provide your banking information to people or businesses you do not know.