Sunday, 20 December 2015 20:42

Rural Watch car hailed a success

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural Watch car hailed a success

A SPECIAL Rural Watch vehicle staffed by police volunteers has been hailed a success one year after its launch.

The dedicated and marked patrol vehicle operates in the rural area of Selby, North Yorkshire.

It is staffed by a team of 10 police volunteers who patrol identified routes incorporating hot-spot locations for all types of rural incidents and crime.

The vehicle is based at Eggborough police station and is identifiable through its white and yellow checked livery.

Over the past year it has contributed 496 hours of patrol time over 119 days along four identified routes across the rural areas of Selby.

Bryan Crossdale, a police volunteer manager based at Eggborough police station, said the vehicle had been instrumental in reducing and deterring rural crime.

"The Rural Watch car has proved to be a very successful deterrent to potential criminals with the team reporting many vehicles driving away from the area on seeing the car.

"Volunteers also phone in suspicious activity spotted while they are out on patrol, and are in essence, a capable guardian that reports suspicious people and vehicles directly to the police.

"The scheme has also been instrumental in helping to reduce fly tipping and acting as a deterrent to would-be fly tippers."

Sergeant Kevin Brighton of Eggborough police described the vehicle as an excellent initiative.

"We are very well supported by enthusiastic volunteers in the Eggborough area and on behalf of North Yorkshire Police and the local community, I thank them for their hard work and look forward to working with them in the future."

The vehicle is sponsored by North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan, the National Farmers' Union, National Power Grid and the Selby Western and Southern area Community Engagement Forums.

Ms Mulligan said the volunteers were a really important part of the policing family.

"Intelligence gathered can lead to police action, and it also reassures our rural community in Selby that the police are working with others to help keep everyone safe.

"I am really pleased to see this scheme progressing so well."

A recent survey by the National Rural Crime Network, which is chaired by Ms Mulligan showed that rural communities were resilient, but also that crime was drastically under-reported.

The secretariat for the crime network is provided by the Rural Services Network.

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