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Evesham and Pershore’s rural businesses and farms, are being urged to get involved in a watch scheme specifically designed for rural areas.

On Friday (17 January), Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team and Rural and Business Crime officers launched ‘South Worcestershire Rural Watch’ which sees local communities work together to tackle rural issues.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage members of the rural business community and farmers to be more vigilant and to report any suspicious information or anything that seems out of the ordinary in their local community.

Local businesses and farmers will work alongside police to help police gather information and intelligence.

The launch forms part of the Police and Crime Commissioners wider Rural Focus campaign, aimed at making rural communities feel more connected.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Rural Watch is just one way communities can play an active role. I’d encourage the public to take advantage of opportunities like this, as well as getting involved in the Rural Focus campaign, to ensure the police and I can take action to ultimately make communities safer.”

South Worcestershire’s Rural and Business Officer, Mick Simpson, said: “The benefit of a watch scheme is the intelligence gathered and reported by the local community.

“PC Paul Brown and the SNT officers at Evesham are passionate about helping get the rural business and farming community together, and launched the South Worcestershire Rural Watch, on Friday, at the Talis Amos Group.

“PCC John Campion, business owners and members of the rural community supported the event and found out more about what the new group can achieve when working together in the community.

“Good intelligence can aid investigations and potentially result in disrupting criminals, such as seizing a vehicle with no insurance or the effective use of police powers of stop and search.

“The public know the communities they live in better than anyone, and will usually notice suspicious behaviour. Without the reporting of suspicious circumstances or crimes, it is difficult for the police to identify or tackle problem areas.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved in the scheme to contact me and we can discuss this in more detail.”

To find out more about Rural Watch contact Mick Simpson via email [email protected]

For more information on the Rural Focus campaign click here.

Issued: Tuesday 21st January 2020