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Selby Rural Watch vehicle clocks up nearly 500 miles patrol time in first year

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Police volunteers who operate a dedicated patrol vehicle in the rural area of Selby were thanked yesterday (8 December 2015) on the first anniversary of the vehicle's operation.

The Rural Watch patrol vehicle, which is sponsored by Julia Mulligan Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, the National Farmers’ Union, National Power Grid and the Selby Western and Southern area Community Engagement Forums, was launched in December 2014.

The marked vehicle is staffed by a team of 10 police volunteers who patrol identified routes incorporating hot-spot locations for all types of rural incidents and crime.

The vehicle is based at Eggborough police station and is identifiable through its white and yellow checked livery. Over the past year it has contributed 496 hours of patrol time over 119 days along four identified routes across the rural areas of Selby.

Bryan Crossdale, a police volunteer manager based at Eggborough police station, said: “The Rural Watch car has proved to be a very successful deterrent to potential criminals with the team reporting many vehicles driving away from the area on seeing the car. The volunteers also phone in suspicious activity spotted while they are out on patrol, and are in essence, a capable guardian that reports suspicious people and vehicles directly to the police.

“The scheme has also been instrumental in helping to reduce fly tipping and acting as a deterrent to would-be fly tippers. The rubbish pile at Great Heck is also regularly patrolled with volunteers providing early warning of any issues to the fire service.”

Sergeant Kevin Brighton of Eggborough police, added: “This is an excellent initiative and I congratulate all of the volunteers who give up their free time to keep the community they live in safer. Together with the police officers who work in Eggborough, we have driven down rural crime significantly.

“We are very well supported by enthusiastic volunteers in the Eggborough area and on behalf of North Yorkshire Police and the local community, I thank them for their hard work and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “The volunteer network in North Yorkshire forms a really important part of the policing family.  The intelligence gathered can lead to police action, and it also reassures our rural community in Selby that the police are working with others to help keep everyone safe.  I am really pleased to see this scheme progressing so well.

“The National Rural Crime Network survey showed rural communities are resilient, but also that crime is drastically under-reported.  If anyone does see anything suspicious or has been a victim of crime, please call 101 and tell the police, or of course 999 in an emergency.”

 Andy Pound of the Western Community Engagement Forum, added: “The Rural Watch patrol vehicle is a great example of local people helping themselves  by supporting the police, their communities, residents and businesses, for the benefit of everyone.”

Philip Musson of the National Farmers’ Union, added: “We believe the patrol vehicle is of great benefit to the police, acting as their eyes and ears and providing a visible deterrent to criminals. It also provides extra reassurance to the farming community and rural businesses, most of whom live and work in isolated rural areas.”

9 December 2015

Last modified: May 9, 2018