As part of a new monthly feature from Northumbria Police, we’ll be helping communities across Northumberland stay up-to-date with current operations, emerging crime trends and prevention advice to keep yourself and your property safe.

This week Sgt Kate Benson is talking about the Rural Crime Volunteers, police resources and the diversity that comes with tackling crime across Northumberland.

Volunteering for their communities

“One of our most recent additions to the Northumbria Police family is the Rural Crime Volunteers. We have over 30 volunteers who have been officially sworn in and who work across Northumberland with our officers and other partner agencies to help prevent and disrupt local and cross-border criminal activity in rural communities.

“The volunteers have been involved in a number of large scale police operations which have targeted suspects, tackled off-road disorder, drug supply, anti-social behaviour and organised criminality in rural areas.

“They have quickly become part of our team and a big part of tackling rural crime. We’ll be recruiting more in the future so if you’re interested in supporting your community visit our website for more information.”

From wildlife to organised crime

“When you say rural crime people often immediately think of agricultural crime but there is much more to it.

“It incorporates a whole host of crimes including thefts and burglaries, disrupting organised criminality, tackling drug supply, wildlife crime and issues close to the hearts of communities.

“With a number of recent arrests and sentences for burglars and cross-border criminals bringing in drugs, our officers work in a forever changing field, adapting to target suspects and support victims in order to be the best for the communities they serve.

“No day is the same and our officers are constantly training and working alongside partners to be prepared for whatever policing our rural areas throws at us.”

Prepare, prevent and protect!

“The way crime is tackled is constantly evolving to adapt to emerging and developing crime trends. We have a variety of different resources and tactics at our disposal to help disrupt and prevent all forms of criminality.

“One resource we frequently use is the What3Words platform which is a simple tool used to communicate precise locations by allocating three unique words to each 3m geographical square across the world. This helps us locate incidents and reports of suspicious behaviour much quicker – especially in more rural areas and on unnamed roads.

“We also have our FarmWatch scheme which is a network designed to alert residents to any criminal or suspicious activity, share crime prevention advice and make appeals for information. You can sign up for this on our website.“These are just some of the tools and resources we use to engage with our communities and keep them safe!”

l Next month will see the first instalment by new Neighbourhood Inspector Garry Neil.

For more information on rural crime and further details about what Northumbria Police is doing to tackle crime in your area visit their website.