Farmers are being urged to get involved with a new network aimed at tackling rural crime.
The National Rural Crime Network is asking rural businesses and communities to add their experiences to its recently launched website.
See also: Rural crime remains ‘persistent problem’
Network chairwoman Julia Mulligan, who is also police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, said she wanted people to join forces against crime in the countryside.
“This new website will allow people from across the country to share their experiences, discuss issues and learn from each other without leaving their own communities,” she said.
“It lets people find out what schemes work best – and then get those shared quickly throughout England and Wales so everyone can benefit.”
The network, which was established in July 2014, is supported by 29 police and crime commissioners and police forces across England and Wales.
Ms Mulligan said the commissioners wanted to hear from anyone wanting to make a contribution to make in keeping rural communities safe.
“For the first time, rural crime can be discussed in one place and without geographic boundaries, allowing national trends to be identified and, when appropriate, national policies to be developed.”
“This website will provide the latest news, research and opinion, and work is already under way to undertake the country’s largest rural crime survey ever.”
Nationally, crime levels are falling, according to the latest data published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday (23 April).
Crime against households and resident adults fell by 7% in England and Wales during 2014 – its lowest level since 1981.
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who is also a livestock farmer, said he believed sharing information could help keep rural communities safe and secure.
“Those of us who live and work in rural areas of the country are often quite isolated and by necessity have to do more for themselves to prevent and deter crime.”
The website would help to counter feelings of remoteness within communities by providing members with up to date ideas and information.