A scheme to help keep crime low in rural areas of the Dales is getting bigger.
Farm and Rural Community Watch is similar to Neighbourhood Watch as members can pass information via the police to each other about crime in the area.
Hundreds of new Farm and Rural Community Watch signs are being distributed across the Dales to underline how people living in rural areas are working together to keep their property safe.
The Howe family, who farm at Litton Slack in the north of the Dales, are backing the initiative, which is a partnership between the Derbyshire Dales District Council, the Police and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
David Howe said: “It is great to be part of a big initiative that helps to keep our farm safer and allows us to work together to help the police and partners fight rural crime. The farming community appreciate the work that is being done, and the Farm Watch posters and stickers are a daily reminder to us to report anything suspicious.”
Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also chairman of Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said: “We have taken the decision to extend the reach of an excellent scheme that is helping to maintain the Dales’ status as one of the safest places to live, work and visit in the whole of the UK.
“The District Council champions rural communities and Farm and Rural Community Watch is clearly helping farmers to work together to reduce opportunities for crime and vandalism in the countryside. We know also that the scheme helps reduce the fear of crime as members are proactive in protecting their own property.”
Inspector Bryan Hall, who is in charge of policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “Our local PCSOs have worked really hard to build support for this scheme since its launch a couple of years ago. The purpose of Farm and Rural Community Watch is to discourage criminal activity, further reduce crime in the countryside and, when crime does occur, increase the likelihood of detection.”
On joining the scheme members receive a welcome pack, which includes a Farm and Rural Community Watch sign, a booklet on protecting their property and a handy list of contact telephone numbers for Crimestoppers, the local Police station and the District Council’s CleanTeam among others.