OFFICERS in rural Northumberland have teamed up with the National Farmers’ Union and rural insurers, NFU Mutual, to fund materials to help tackle rural crime.

The newest batch of signs helps promote the scheme and deter opportunistic criminals from operating in rural communities.

Farmwatch is a network designed to alert rural and farming residents to any criminal or suspicious activity, share crime prevention advice and make appeals for information.

By signing up to the scheme, farmers and members of the public can be kept informed of crime in their area and receive crime prevention advice and appeals for information about suspicious people or vehicles.

Local Neighbourhood Inspector John Swan, of Northumbria Police, said: “Rural crime is something we’re dedicated to tackling alongside local partners and volunteers to ensure a holistic and robust approach.

“These signs help deter potential criminals as well as highlighting the amazing Farmwatch initiative and all of the great partnership work behind it.”

NFU regional director Adam Bedford said he was delighted to see a collaborative approach to crime fighting in Northumberland.

“The impact of rural crime on local farm businesses is something that’s raised with us on an almost daily basis,” he said.

“A key priority for us is working with the police to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to target rural areas.”