Rural crime crackdown

20 Jan 2015 10:51 AM

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Police are reminding people in rural Tynedale to be vigilant after thieves stole more than £60,000 worth of property in a month.

Since the start of December there have been reports of offences such as thefts and burglaries to homes, outbuildings and cars across West Tynedale.

Stolen property includes quad bikes, jewellery, electrical items, cash, tools and diesel, while a Range Rover Evoque worth £35,000 was also stolen from outside one property and canoes worth £5,000 from another. Some of the stolen property has been recovered.

Offences have taken place at Blanchland, Bellingham, Greenhead, Ridsdale, West Woodburn, Bardon Mill, Falstone, and Sinderhope.

Additional patrols are taking place across the areas affected and the Neighbourhood Policing Team is working closely with other forces such as Durham, Cumbria and Police Scotland to tackle those travelling to rural areas to commit crime.

Neighbourhood Inspector Kevin Oates said: "Some of the property stolen, such as quad bikes, is vital for people with large amounts of land and for their business, while others have included sentimental items and electrical goods.

"We recognise the impact rural crime has on individuals and communities and that's why we carry out regular joint operations with other agencies and neighbouring forces to target those people involved in committing crime in our rural communities.

"Many of the perpetrators will know the areas concerned, they could be in the area during the day and return after dark to steal what they have seen, while others are more opportunist and will walk into a farmyard and steal insecure property.

"As ever the community is our eyes and ears and I'd like to remind people to be vigilant and take steps to protect their property.

"We have as successful Farmwatch scheme in this area and sharing information about suspicious people and vehicles travelling in the area is important to tackling these offences."

The appeal comes during the Vera Baird supported Northumbria Police Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling thieves and burglars across the force and promoting crime prevention advice to residents.

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Rural crime is very much a priority for myself and the force and I understand fully just what the impact can be on the county and its communities.

"It’s vital we tackle rural crime and my office is working with the force, our partners and rural communities to tackle this issue.

"I realise the impact these thefts and crimes can have on the rural Northumberland communities, where the loss of tools, machinery or vehicles can have a massive impact as these items are often relied on by people for their livelihoods.

"I’m committed to ensuring the force continues to work with local communities to ensure their concerns are fully addressed and action is taken against the minority who try to disrupt people's way of life."

Advice includes ensuring windows and doors are all in good repair and locked - both when you're going out and at home - and keep valuables out of reach and sight of doors and windows.

It's important properties look occupied - lights should be left on if you're going out or to another part of the farm - and use timer lights to come on when it gets dark.

And external lighting and CCTV helps deter thieves and provide light and surveillance to places not on view from your house. And keep expensive items like horse tack, tools and vehicles securely locked away when not in use.

For more crime prevention advice visit the Northumbria Police website at . People are encouraged to sign up with free national property register .

Residents are also urged to report anything unusual or suspicious they see in their community to police, anonymously if necessary, via 101 ext 69191.