A NEW initiative will be launched this weekend to fight Easter crime in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To be called Operation Moorwatch, it is part of a unique joint project between the police and the Government quango Natural England – but both are calling for help from the general public.
Rural crime has been rising for several years, as initiatives like Neighbourhood Watch drive criminals out of the towns and cities, but bank holidays pose an extra threat because there are tens of thousands of visitors in areas like the Dales and targets like cars parked by ramblers mean easy pickings for criminals.
Other crime includes fly tipping, poaching, wildlife crime, quad bike theft, off-roading and bird of prey persecution. Each year many such incidents are reported, especially during the holiday season.
During the Easter period Moorwatch posters and leaflets will be circulated around village halls, tourist information offices, B and B’s and visitor attractions. Natural England hope that by simply raising people’s awareness of the issue and reminding them to be vigilant the number of incidents will reduce.
- Members of the public can help whether visitor or resident by being vigilant and reporting anything suspicious or unusual to the police. If suspicious, they are asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060 247 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote ‘Operation Moorwatch’.