New drive to beat rural crime launched across Harrogate district

A new drive has been launched to beat rural crime.
A new drive has been launched to beat rural crime.

Thousands of farms across the county will be offered a free security check-up, as part of a major new crime prevention drive.

Despite North Yorkshire retaining its title as the safest place in the country, according to the latest crime figures, police have warned that rural areas are frequently targeted by people who travel from outside the area to commit crime.

Operation Woollen has been developed by PC Neil Slater and PCSO Mel Parkin of the York Community Safety Hub, and has so far seen dozens of farms around York offered security advice and visited by a police crime prevention expert.

The operation will now be rolled out across the county by North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, with 8,000 farms being sent a crime prevention pack in the post - including a security survey, information about dot peen property marking and North Yorkshire Community Messaging.

Farms will also be offered a free visit from a crime prevention champion, a PC or PCSO from the Rural Taskforce or local Neighbourhood Policing Team with expertise in farm security.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is the safest place in the country, but it’s important we stay vigilant and do everything we can to keep people and businesses safe, particularly in rural areas.

“Thanks to Operation Woollen, every farm in the county will receive a crime prevention pack, and be offered a security survey by a trained expert. In addition, we will be promoting dot peen property marking, and encouraging businesses to sign up to the North Yorkshire Community Messaging system.

“Starting this month, and continuing throughout the year, farms should look out for a letter from North Yorkshire Police, and return the form in the pre-paid envelope provided. Of course, anyone wanting crime prevention advice as soon as possible can contact us directly on ruraltaskforce@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and we’ll be in touch.”