Countryside Watch a scheme to protect countryside from crime21/08/2013
Following the success of the ‘Countryside Watch scheme in the Harborough District, Hinckley and Bosworth local police officers and volunteers teamed up with local farmers and land owners to help tackle crime.
‘Countryside Watch’ was set up in 2011 when local PCSO Mike Chapman attended a parish council meeting and received feedback from farmers on how they were being affected by rural crime.
“The farmers were becoming very concerned about the increase of crime in the area. I am originally from Yorkshire and knew of a similar scheme there, so I went away and researched what other police forces did around rural crime and then put the best ideas together to form Countryside Watch,” says PCSO Chapman.
“The scheme has been a success, we now have 66 farms and businesses signed up to Countryside Watch and we have seen a significant drop in crime in our area since the scheme began”.
When signing up for ‘Countryside Watch’ members receive a Countryside Watch Sign that can be displayed on their property, an information pack with advice on security and a SelectDNA pack which is a unique form of ink that is used to mark property such as trailers and tractors. The success of ‘Countryside Watch’ is due to the two way communication between its member and the police. Members are encouraged to report any suspicious behaviour in the area so that the police can feed this information back via SMS messaging to other members.
Initial membership to ‘Countryside Watch’ costs £35.
“Although there is an initial cost to ‘Countryside Watch’ this is only to help cover the cost of the signs and SelectDNA pack. Buying a SelectDNA pack direct costs over £190, so there are obvious cost benefits to signing up to Countryside Watch,” explains Mike.
For more information on the project please contact PCSO Mike Chapman from Hinckley Police Station on 101*, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key the officer’s identification number 6115.
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