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

Partners and police have secured funding for the county’s Farmwatch scheme, including a fresh supply of signs for the initiative.

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

Farmwatch is a network of over 1300 rural community members 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, receive monthly news bulletins, crime prevention advice and appeals for information about suspicious people or vehicles.

Rural Superintendent Andy Huddleston, of Northumbria Police, said: “Rural crime is something we’re dedicated to tackling and something we police 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.

“We work alongside partners on a number of different rural operations to help protect residents and this work has had a fantastic response from the farming community and members of the public with a lot of support for the work being carried out.

“I want to also thank our partners and local volunteers for their sustained support and we all look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure that rural communities remain safe places to live, work and visit.”

NFU Northumberland County Adviser, Anna Simpson said: “We were delighted to once again work with Northumbria Police and help ensure that local Farmwatch members have access to eye-catching signs that will hopefully deter the many criminals that seek to target rural areas.

“Rural crime continues to be one of the most frequent issues raised by our members, so it is vital we keep doing everything we can to support crime prevention across the county. Nothumberland’s Farmwatch initiative is a fantastic example of how local communities can work with the Police and others to help fight crime and it is a real source of inspiration to see it go from strength to strength.”