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Text alerts set to combat rural crime

[Wednesday 09 April 2008]
Text alerts set to combat rural crime
Text alerts set to combat rural crime

NORTH Yorkshire Police has teamed up with the National Farmers’ Union and North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards to set up a new text alert service to help combat rural crime across the Hambleton District of the Yorkshire Dales.

The updated version of the long-running Ringmaster service, which is part of the existing Country Watch scheme, will soon provide instant mobile phone messages to make farmers and other key rural stakeholders aware of crime and policing issues in the area. It is expected to “go live” on 1 May.

Representatives from the four NFU Group offices covering Hambleton - based in Northallerton, Thirsk, Stokesley and Bedale - are currently compiling a secure database of mobile phone numbers for more than 1,000 NFU members in the district.

North Yorkshire Police are also urging other non-farming members of the rural community to sign up to the scheme, such as gamekeepers, small holders, local businesses and people involved in equestrianism and other countryside pursuits. All they have to do is pass on their details and mobile phone number to the designated officer, PC Mark Atkinson, by phone or e-mail and they will be added to the Ringmaster database.

Sergeant Paul Stephenson, of the Easingwold Safer Neighbourhoods Team who is co-ordinating the scheme alongside the NFU and Trading Standards, said: “Using text message alerts is an excellent and instant way to raise awareness about rural crime and ultimately help the police to catch those involved in it.

“We simply cannot sit back and allow these criminals to prey on our countryside communities, which are often in remote areas and vulnerable to thieves who target valuable assets such as vehicles, farming machinery and even livestock. There is also the problem of bogus tradesman who are out to con people.

Using text message alerts is an excellent and instant way to raise awareness about rural crime

Sergeant Paul Stephenson - North Yorkshire Police

“This is people’s livelihoods we are talking about here, as well as preserving the quality of life our communities demand and deserve.

“By signing up to the Ringmaster text alert scheme, we can all work together to combat rural crime in the Hambleton District.”

Greg Proll, the National Farmers’ Union representative based at Stokesley, said: We would urge as many people as possible to sign up to the scheme by contacting North Yorkshire Police or your local NFU offices, so that it can be as successful as possible.”

To sign up for the Ringmaster text alert scheme, please contact PC Mark Atkinson at Easingwold Police Station on 0845 60 60 24 7 or e-mail mark.atkinson@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk .

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