Police in Northumberland are out and about giving the farming community advice on not falling victim to rural crime.
Officers across the county are visiting farms and rural communities to ensure they have adequate security and given crime prevention advice and tips. The visits come as the winter months approach, with thieves looking to take advantage and steal and burgle under the cover of darkness.
Advice includes ensuring windows and doors are all in good repair and locked – both when you’re going out and at home – and keep valuables out of reach and sight of doors and windows. It’s important properties look occupied; lights should be left on if you’re going out or to another part of the farm and use timer lights to come on when it gets dark.
External lighting and CCTV helps deter thieves and provide light and surveillance to places not on view from your house. Keep expensive items like horse tack, tools and vehicles securely locked away when not in use.
Northumberland Area Command Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “Rural crime is important to us and local policing teams across the county work to target those suspected of being involved in rural crime and to deter crime and prevent offences.
We work closely with farms and rural communities all year round to ensure they have the right crime prevention advice and as we move into darker nights it’s vital they have the information they need to protect their property. With this in mind, we will be visiting farms to make sure their properties are safe and secure.
“We have a successful Farmwatch scheme which operates in the county and as ever I’d like to remind people they are our eyes and ears on the ground. If they see unusual or suspicious activity, vehicles or people they should report the information to police straight away so we can make urgent inquiries.
“I’d like to reassure people that we’re committed to keeping criminals at bay and by working together we can make sure Northumberland remains a safe place.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Tackling rural crime continues to be high on our agenda and this activity shows that our officers are proactively working with those living in our most rural communities to fight crime and stop offenders.
“I want to assure residents of Northumberland that Northumbria Police will continue to work with partners to reduce crime and support these more remote neighbourhoods. I urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, or who has any concerns to contact the police so officers can take action.”