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Volunteers needed for Dales crime reduction scheme

[Friday 30 March 2007]

RESIDENTS in rural parts of the northern Yorkshire Dales are being urged to support the expansion of a scheme designed to reduce night time crime in remote areas.

Borderwatch involves members patrolling their own communities during the evening and into the early hours, recording and reporting any suspicious activity. The mobile watch teams are recognised by North Yorkshire Police and those taking part play a vital role as the eyes and ears of the force across rural Richmondshire.

Thefts from farms, outbuildings, garages and stables are a particular problem

Nick Hunter - North Yorkshire Police

The project is supported by Richmondshire Community Safety Partnership (RCSP), and currently covers the areas surrounding Gilling West, Eppleby, Barton and Middleton Tyas. Each sector has its own co-ordinator and team of volunteers, and more residents are needed to help the scheme expand.

"Thefts from farms, outbuildings, garages and stables are a particular problem, with tack and quad bikes a popular target," explains Inspector Nick Hunter, District Commander. "In an area as large and sparsely populated as Richmondshire, it is often very difficult to catch the culprits. Borderwatch acts as a kind of rural surveillance, and a deterrent."

Borderwatch volunteers are not expected to approach anyone behaving suspiciously, but are a valuable resource in reporting anything out of the ordinary.

"The police can provide a heightened presence in places where a spate of crimes of this kind are occurring, but Borderwatch teams can be a constant after dark presence, either witnessing suspicious activity, or making a thief think twice," adds RCSP Chair Liz Smith.

To find out more, contact PC John Wilbor at Richmond Police Station on 0845 60 60 247 or e-mail john.wilbor@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

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