Police launch rural crime prevention scheme


Police in Calderdale are launching a new, innovative scheme to help prevent rural crime and catch people responsible for it.

Officers from the Upper Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team are currently visiting farms and homes as they establish a new crime fighting network called Rural Watch.

The scheme has been established by Acting Inspector Aidan Hodgson, alongside PCs Kate Picot and Fiona Igo, and works by linking rural members of the community with a text and email alert system. This allows officers to quickly make members aware of any suspicious activity and also share intelligence on crime issues.

Police will also be working closely with any farmers who want help to upgrade their security systems and to provide advice on what they can do to help protect their land against rural crime.

Although the scheme is in its infancy, there are already more than sixty members signed up.

Acting Inspector Aidan Hodgson, who leads the Upper Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Through Rural Watch we are creating a support network between farmers and the police to help us all keep each other informed of any issues. It will also make sure officers are doing all they can to keep on top of crime issues in the more isolated parts of our area.

“This is not being set up because of any recent increase in crime. Large areas of the Upper Valley are sparsely populated and remote. By creating a better communications network with local farmers, this scheme will allow us to more quickly share useful information and also provide an extra level of support and reassurance.”

Anyone who is interested in Rural Watch and lives in the Upper Valley area should visit: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/calderdale/upper-valley