A south Yorkshire police officer is aiming to reduce the level of rural crime by setting up a Farmwatch scheme.

Mike Dewsnap, who is based at Rossington, near Doncaster, believes many rural crimes go unreported and is appealing to more farmers to get involved.

As well as encouraging farmers to report thefts to the police, he is planning to keep Farmwatch scheme members informed of events via e-mail or mobile phone text messaging.

“Crimes in this area range from diesel theft to stolen plant and machinery,” said PC Dewsnap.

“If I can generate enough interest, then I feel it would be helpful to alert people to any possible gangs who may be operating in the area.

“It would also be useful to share information about suspicious vehicles that have been spotted in order to remind producers to be extra vigilant and make sure their gates and buildings are securely locked.”

Those seeking more information or interested in being part of the scheme should contact PC Dewsnap on 01302 385 116.