Cleveland Police is focussing on rural crime throughout the National Neighbourhood Watch Week which starts on Saturday 15th June.
The Force has recently been cracking down on rural crime as part of an ongoing operation along with other forces across the North East and wants rural and farming communities to join in the fight.
Dedicated rural crime officers now work together with partners to improve the response to rural crime and to identify illegal activity. Those within rural areas are being encouraged to sign up to an information sharing service which will help the communities keep themselves safe as part of Farm Watch and Rural Watch schemes.
Cleveland Police are taking part in large scale regional operations targeting travelling criminals, illegal hunting activity, fly grazing, heritage site abuse and antisocial use of off-road vehicles which can cause damage to estates, destroy crops and harm livestock.
Improved communication and information sharing with adjacent forces has been implemented to better identify and target travelling criminals and those who engage in illegal activities across large estates and in woodland areas.
The initiative is supported by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, who recently addressed a Farm Watch conference and championed activity to support these communities who may have felt vulnerable in the past.
Inspector Dan Maddison, from Cleveland Police Operational Support Department, said: “Cleveland Police Force area is predominantly urban but contains large areas of rural and farmland bordering North Yorkshire and Durham force areas. We are working closely with the other Forces in the region as well as our partners to tackle rural crime and the travelling criminals that target vulnerable and rural properties.
“We want more people to sign up to rural and farm watch schemes to help with this work. We have days of action planned where we will target and deal with offenders robustly. Our message to those offenders is - If you're using our countryside, woodland or farmland for criminal activity, we're coming after you.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger added: “I am fully supportive of this initiative and have attended a number of meetings to help establish its set up and to encourage members of the public to get involved by signing up to the information sharing service.
“We are particularly keen to have a community volunteer in Middlesbrough to take the lead for a Rural Watch scheme.”
If you are interested in joining any Farm Watch or Rural Watch you can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call your local Scheme Coordinator:
Hartlepool- 01642 302562 - email@example.com
Stockton- 01642 302341 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Middlesbrough- 01642 303199 - email@example.com
Redcar and Cleveland - 01642 302629 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Thursday 13th June 2013