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Yorkshire Wolds residents join forces with police to takle rural crime

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A new group has been created to help tackle rural crime affecting the Yorkshire Wolds.

Dozens of people attended a meeting in Thixendale, on Monday 2 March 2020, to launch Wolds Against Rural Crime.

The Yorkshire Wolds are low hills spanning the counties of North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire – from the Vale of York in the west to the plain of Holderness in the east. The new group is aimed at farmers, landowners, gamekeepers and everyone affected by or concerned about crime in this picturesque area.

Representatives from North Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police attended the meeting at Thixendale Village Hall, alongside Farm Watch co-ordinator Gordon Calvert. The meeting was opened by wildlife artist Robert E Fuller.

Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the communities in the Yorkshire Wolds to help tackle rural crime.

“Although the North Yorkshire countryside is a very safe place, we do know that criminals target isolated areas, so it’s really important that residents are vigilant.

“We are looking to follow the model of our scheme already up and running in Helmsley, where members of the community are using a WhatsApp group linked to the police to report suspicious activity. Volunteers are also being trained to take part in a Mobile Rural Watch scheme, to help them act as the ‘eyes and ears’ by patrolling in rural areas. The contribution of these volunteers is invaluable in the fight against rural crime.

The meeting discussed dealing with rural crime such as crimes involving farm equipment and livestock; poaching; illegal trapping and taking of wildlife; theft and damage; tourism crime and crime against rural businesses; and serious and organised crime affecting rural areas.

Insp Hagen added: “We’re particularly grateful to Robert for his support in setting up this initiative, and for opening the meeting at Thixendale.”

PC Mark Atkinson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “The meeting went really well, with about 60 members of the rural Wolds community attending. Our partnership working with Humberside Police and the local community will help us tackle rural crime together, and keep people safe.”

PC Martin Phillips from Humberside Police’s Rural Crime Team said: “The meeting this week was really positive and it was fantastic to see so many people give up their evening to come along. We are committed to our ongoing work with North Yorkshire Police and the local community to tackle crime in the area and I look forward to continuing to share our ideas and initiatives through the group.”

Robert Fuller said: “I was really pleased by the high turnout to the first meeting to Wolds Against Rural Crime. Tackling rural crime is clearly something that is very important to local people. This new way of working will help the community come together as a unit to report crime together in partnership with North Yorkshire and Humberside police forces.”

To find out more about Wolds Against Rural Crime, contact PC Mark Atkinson of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101 or emailing mark.atkinson@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Last modified: March 4, 2020