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Police join global Geocaching craze and hide treasure in Sandwell

Thursday 7 August 2014

It’s the latest outdoor craze across the globe and now neighbourhood police officers in Sandwell have taken to geocaching in a bid to spread useful crime prevention messages to their community. 
 
Described as a world-wide treasure hunt, game players use GPS-enabled devices, usually mobile phones, to find containers that are hidden in public areas by other geocachers. 
 
 
PC Ben Dolan, from the Soho and Victoria policing team, came up with the idea of geocaching at work after seeing one of his friends getting involved in the hobby. 
 
Together with his colleague PC David Harnett, he has placed caches in two Sandwell locations that have already attracted more than a dozen visitors. 
 
He said: “It’s a fun and innovative way of interacting with our communities. The geocaches have been found a number of times over the last few weeks and we have received some really positive feedback. 
 
“We place a log book for people to sign, crime prevention advice and small trinkets for people to take and use, like UV pens to mark your property with, so that if it’s stolen and found the property can be returned to its owner." 
 
The officers’ first geocache was a plastic box wrapped in brown tape which they hid in some bushes at Victoria Park in Cape Hill. It’s already been found six times, with one person commenting on how pleased they were to see the police taking an interest in the pastime. 
 
PCs Dolan and Harnett have been careful to choose locations that are safe and suitable for children and families to visit when hiding geocache across their neighbourhood area. And they’re encouraging people to get out and about hunting for the small tubs over the school summer holidays. 
 
PC Dolan added: “I want our geocaching to be fun, educational and useful and we’re looking to hide more containers soon - so there’s no better time to get involved!" 
 
To find out more, visit the Soho and Victoria Team on Twitter @sohovicpolice