A rural policing initiative has been hailed a success after a packed week of activity has reaped positive results for Northumberland communities.
Neighbourhood officers across Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick and Tynedale have hosted targeted crime-prevention events, paid visits to communities and businesses as well as a range of other activities during the week-long initiative.
Police activity has included: Officers visiting 23 rural premises including pubs, post offices, shops and churches to provide bespoke crime-prevention advice to help prevent break-ins and safeguard those identified as vulnerable;
○ Police making home visits to check on several high-risk domestic abuse offenders and those recently released from prison to monitor their behaviour and to prevent re-offending;
○ Officers monitoring activity while visiting more than 30 rural car parks to help prevent car thefts;
○ Police carrying out a search warrant in Berwick recovered a quantity of cannabis;
○ Officers checking security at 30 farms to ensure that farmers are fully aware of recent quad-bike thefts and Farmwatch messages. They also sought out new recruits to the watch scheme and distributed Farmwatch signs, to raise awareness of the initiative and deter criminals;
○ Working with Community Speed Watch volunteers who have been checking for speeding motorists at six separate locations, monitoring 650 vehicles in the process. Of these, only five were found to be over the speed limit and will receive warning letters from officers;
○ Police recovered coping stones worth £3,000 which are suspected to have been stolen recently in Tynedale;
○ Officers also called in to Hexham Armed Forces Day, Wylam Fair, Holy Island Festival, Ford and Etal Steam punk festival and Corbridge midsummer shop events to meet residents and visitors alike;
○ Extra targeted patrols have continued with farmers and gamekeepers to tackle poaching issues;
○ Officers working with VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and DVLA, have uplifted four vehicles after drivers were found to not be insured;
○ Working with partners at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service new motorbike safety signs have been erected at collision hot spots to urge riders to be safe on our roads.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “This has been a successful week of pro-active engagement by our neighbourhood teams, working with those living in our most rural communities, helping them prevent crime and doing all we can to catch those responsible. I will ensure that tackling rural crime continues to be a high priority for our officers across Northumberland.”
Paul Hedley, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As a Fire and Rescue Service our priority is to keep residents safe. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with Northumbria Police on their rural policing initiative so that we can share our knowledge and experience and plan activity together that will prevent accidents and emergencies in Northumberland.”
Anyone with concerns about crime or other policing matters should contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.