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Farms protected as York rural security operation continues

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An operation to boost the security of rural premises in and around York has seen more than a dozen farms protected against criminals - with even more still to come.

Dubbed “Operation Woollen” for farms and “Operation Woodchip” for other rural businesses, the campaign is the biggest rural crime prevention drive the city has ever seen.

Officers identified hundreds of York business premises that are located on industrial estates or away from built-up areas, and have been sending every one of them a self-assessment questionnaire and information about crime prevention.

The crime prevention packs include a security survey and the offer of a visit from a ‘crime prevention champion’ – a PCSO from their local Neighbourhood Policing Team with specific training in business security.

Since the campaign got underway at the end of September, 305 crime prevention packs have been sent out. 14 farm security visits have already taken place, with another 21 farms and seven businesses due to be booked in.

45 farms and 17 businesses have also signed up to the North Yorkshire Community Messaging service as a result of Woollen and Woodchip.

PCSO Daniel Stannard and PC Andrew Pearson, of the York North Neighbourhood Policing Team, and PC Neil Slater of the York Community Safety Hub, at one of the farm visits.
PCSO Daniel Stannard and PC Andrew Pearson, of the York North Neighbourhood Policing Team, and PC Neil Slater of the York Community Safety Hub, at one of the farm visits.

PC Neil Slater, of the York Community Safety Hub, said: “We have had really positive feedback from people we have visited. Officers have been able to give useful advice on how to improve security, and many items of property have been security-marked, from tractors to sit-on mowers, trailers and tools.

“The operation will continue over the Christmas period, and we’ll be booking in further properties for visits as soon as we can.”

The campaign received national coverage when it was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today show on 20 October.

To find out more about Operations Woodchip and Woollen, contact PC Neil Slater or PCSO Melanie Parkin by calling North Yorkshire Police on the 101 non-emergency number.

North Yorkshire Community Messaging is a free system that lets people register to receive the latest crime notifications and community news in their neighbourhoods. People can register or download the free app for Apple and Android devices via www.nycm.co.uk.

Last modified: November 4, 2016