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Social network effort to help battle rural crime

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

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A NATIONAL crime-fighting charity is linking up with police officers in Burton and South Derbyshire in a bid to crack down on a rise in rural thefts and burglaries.

Crimestoppers is working closely with Staffordshire and Derbyshire police forces via a new social media campaign to help fight crimes which affect the ‘livelihood and stability’ of rural communities.

The ‘Scene it. Herd it. Speak up about it. Anonymously’ message will predominantly be spread via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and local alert systems in order to reach deep into rural communities such as Linton, Coton in the Elms, Yoxall and Draycott.

Members of the public will be directed to a web page which discusses aspects of rural crime such as poaching, theft of oil, metal and machinery, and highlights what they need to look out for and how to safely give information anonymously via Crimestoppers.

Pauline Hadley, regional manager for Crimestoppers, said: “There are people who know who is thieving and burgling houses, poaching deer, stealing livestock, fuel and metal.

“Often they are part of serious organised gangs and they must be stopped for all our sakes.

“By calling the charity no-one can find out who called; it doesn’t even appear on your phone bill and you could get a cash reward paid using codes and a bank to protect your anonymity.”

Issues in the area recently have included several people along the A515 corridor running from Sudbury to Yoxall being targeted by thieves who have taken Land-Rovers or parts from the vehicles.

Sergeant Bob Champeau, of Burton Police, said: “We want to try to increase awareness and make sure people lock up their vehicles and use normal security measures.

“If they lock gates, double lock them, make sure CCTV cameras and systems are working and flood lights are working well.”

Anyone with information or suspicions concerning rural crime should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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