Exmouth police tackle rural crime

EXMOUTH police are stepping up awareness of rural crime in a bid to stamp out thefts from isolated areas.

EXMOUTH police are stepping up awareness of rural crime in a bid to stamp out thefts from isolated areas.

Police community support officer Donna Baker is highlighting the problem following a rise in crime from isolated stables and farm buildings.

In the coming days and weeks, PCSO Baker plans to visit every farm and isolated building in the Exmouth and surrounding areas, offering help and advice to help thwart thieves.

She will hand out crime prevention letters and leaflets, and is offering free crime surveys and carrying out security marking to property, such as tools and horse tack.

PCSO Baker will be turning to the internet tool many thieves use when targeting isolated buildings - Google Earth - to pinpoint the places to visit.

She said police information and advice would be left on-site if horse owners and farmers were absent when she called.

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The officer said she hoped the drive would encourage people to sign up to the police community messaging service, which sends crime alerts direct to the community.

"It's a fantastic tool," said PCSO Baker. "We can let people know what's going on and we can target specific groups, such as horse owners or people in isolated areas."

She hoped people would securely register equipment serial numbers on the police website, or at home, in case thieves struck.

PCSO Baker said the crackdown had been prompted by reports of more than 10 rural crimes within the last two months from areas stretching from Woodbury across to Colaton Raleigh.

She said the targets were tack and machinery - and always overnight.

PCSO Baker said: "I would ask people to place all machinery and tools in secure buildings and lock all doors when not being used.

"Contact the police if you see anyone behaving in a suspicious manner in your area.

"Vehicle details are particularly valuable together with a description of the driver and any passengers.

"If anyone requires any advice to improve security, I would say do not hesitate to contact me.

"If we work together we can make a difference."

* To register your property visit: http://www.immobilise.com and to join community messaging go to www.devon-cornwall.police.uk

* PCSO Donna Baker can be contacted on 08452 777444, or by emailing donna.baker@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk