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Retired policeman's crime prevention website tops google

Posted by Jack Griffith on Apr 10, 13 10:33 AM in Crime

wsg_po@165867_calvinbeckford.jpgA RETIRED policeman has kept up his crime-fighting activities through a Google-topping home security website.

Calvin Beckford, 55, launched a year ago this week and it now receives around 3,500 visitors a week.

The site offers free, comprehensive crime prevention advice, with tips on how to improve personal safety, as well as security of your home and belongings.

Users can also take a free survey which provides a risk assessment of your property, and suggests ways you can make your home a fortress.

Such is the success of the website, it is ranked number one and is the first result on Google - the holy grail for any website - when you search 'crime prevention' - coming just above the Metropolitan Police advice page.

Mr Beckford, who lives in Grosvenor Avenue, Hayes, said: "I am really pleased about that.

"It has taken a lot of hard work and hundreds of emails asking for support, but it finally paid off."

He hopes to turn the website into a not-for-profit enterprise this year.

An author of several books on crime prevention, he started the site after he was asked to rewrite one of his successful titles, Home Security: The Complete Handbook.

"I was asked to update the book but it would have been a lot of work for no reward," said Mr Beckford.

"My son Ben, who is a web developer, said I should put it all on a website instead, and it went from there.

"It takes up a lot of my time, but it is something I am passionate about. My goal is to carry on doing my bit and helping the public."

The site now has more than 100 web partners across the country, with police forces, police commissioners, neighbourhood watch groups and residents' associations among them.

Mr Beckford, who joined the Metropolitan Police in 1978, is a leading authority on crime prevention, having spent much of his career focusing on this area.

He worked with planners, architects and the housing industry to 'design out crime', and later pioneered the use of alley gates in neighbourhoods with high burglary rates.

He worked with the Secured by Design programme, run by the Association of Chief Police Officers, from 2005 to 2010.

Mr Beckford says fewer resources are being put towards crime prevention nowadays.

"There are far fewer officers specialising," he added. "On the one hand, you have the Met pushing out crime prevention messages, but this area is poorly staffed because of the cuts. People want to see more PCs and PCSOs on the beat so something has to give, but it is sad to see."