Discussion Forum Guide




Guide to the Discussion Forum

The Crime Reduction Discussion Forum is an active professional interest group – members contribute to keeping a regular flow of questions, views and answers. Thank you to all
those who contribute – and to those of you who have only read messages, please join in!  

Remember, the Forum is all about sharing views and knowledge widely, so please put information on the Forum itself rather than send to individuals by post or telephone.

This is a quick guide to using the Discussion Forum so that you can easily access the messages which interest you. If you have any questions or feedback on the Forum, contact
the Crime Reduction College Information Team, who maintain and moderate the Forum, via

Viewing Messages

When you enter the Discussion Forum, all messages appear in the order in which you last viewed them on your previous visit to the forum.

To change the order in which these are viewed use the drop-down boxes, labeled ‘Sort’ and ‘Order’, above the messages. If you do not wish to see all the topics but only those
that fit a specific category use the drop-down menu labeled ‘Show topics only in category’. Any messages that are returned can be sorted as before.

Search the Forum

Alternatively, use Search – this is on the orange menu bar, to find the message you’re looking for (Search on the top, blue, menu bar searches the whole Crime Reduction

Simply type in the word or words you are interested in, choose the board and category that you wish to search from the drop-down menus along with some other information and the
results will be displayed, sorted in the same order as they were previously. Once you have the results, you can sort them again and also choose to carry out the same search but
on a different category just by selecting from the appropriate drop-down menu.

The benefits of using search are:

  • you will pick up related messages

  • you will move quickly to messages wherever they are in the alphabet

  • you will find messages where your search word was not in the title but is in the body of the message

  • you do not have to use Next Page or Previous Page unless you retrieve a large number of references (use Collapse Menus to reduce this).

To post a new message

  • Click on [Create New Topic] on the right hand side of orange bar.

  • Enter a subject (an explicit and meaningful description of the content of your message, e.g. theft of car stereos).

  • Choose a category from the drop down list (e.g. vehicle crime).

  • Type the text of your message in the large box, check it carefully then click on the Post button.

Your message will now appear on the Discussion Forum (you may need to click ‘Refresh’ on your browser to view it). If you make a mistake or want to correct something in the message
you can do so by choosing [Edit] when viewing it.

To reply to a  message

  • Open the thread by clicking on it’s title.

  • If necessary, use the scroll bar to find the individual message to which you want to reply.

  • Click on [Reply] on the right of the header line for the message.

  • Type in your response and check it.

  • If you’d like to receive an email each time someone on the Forum responds to your message, then click the ‘Send email notifications’ box underneath your message.

  • Click on the ‘Post’ button to send your message onto the Forum.

Your message should appear on the Forum immediately. You may need to click the ‘Refresh’ button on your browser to update your view of the Forum

If you spot any errors in your message, note that you can edit it (or delete in completely) by using the buttons on the header of the message when viewing the relevant thread.

Remember – your message will be visible to all those registered on the Forum. Make sure it complies with the Acceptable Use Policy.

Consider the following points to help make this a useful Forum:

  • Keep in mind the workloads of others

  • Do not put up very broad questions – they are unlikely to attract many answers

  • When you ask a question, don�t forget to add your own views, and what you have already done or considered. Consider putting in a disclaimer if your worried about your
    views being mistaken as those of your employer, eg “The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinion of XYZ”.

  • Do not put up very short/thank you messages – send them direct to the author using their email address if you wish. This avoids everyone reading them and being disappointed
    when they find there is not more substantive information or a continuation of the discussion

  • To be of most benefit, information should be posted to the Forum, not to individuals by telephone/mail etc. This is all about sharing views and knowledge widely. If there’s
    more information than you’d like to post in a Forum reply, send it to
    web team
    , who can arrange for an article
    to be placed in Knowledgebase and a link added from the Forum.

To edit your personal settings

You can change a number of options to customise how you appear on the Forum and how the Forum appears to you. Clicking [Options] on the top-right of the orange menu bar takes
you to your Discussion Forum profile. Here you can change your name and organisation as they appear on messages you send, together with options for how many messages you want to
download at once and how you want them to be presented to you.

Once you’re happy that the information stored against your login is correct, click on the ‘Change’ button to confirm your settings.

Note that you cannot change the email address associated with your account, as this is used as your unique username.


Last update:  16 December 2004

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