New thermal cameras being used to help tackle rural crime and find missing people in Northumberland
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The Northumberland Partnership Against Rural Crime (NPARC) was launched earlier this year after Northumbria Police was awarded Safer Streets funding specifically to fight rural crime and protect isolated communities.
Sergeant Calum Meikle, of Northumbria Police’s Rural Policing Team, said: “We’re confident these new thermal imaging cameras can make a significant difference in our ongoing fight against rural crime.
“A huge amount of work has been undertaken by NPARC this year and it’s been a fantastic team effort, working with organisations as well as our amazing Rural Crime Volunteers to identify problems and then collaborate to provide swift and effective solutions.
“One example of this was last month when we supported a national rural crime week of action, engaging with landowners and farmers to run targeted poaching patrols in identified areas, leading us to stop over 60 vehicles of interest using our rural roads.”
Sgt Meikle added: “The early work of NPARC has made an instant impact, but this is just the beginning.
“We’re really excited to build on this over the coming months as we strive to ensure Northumbria’s most rural areas remain a safe place for everyone.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “I am so pleased that we were successful in getting funding to specifically benefit our rural policing efforts, as the work coming from the NPARC project is really going from strength to strength.
“Times are changing and policing is changing – it’s really important we keep up with new demands and evolving technologies.
“The thermal imaging cameras can assist with a wide range of investigations. I’ve seen them being put to use and know they’re going to be a valuable tool in the fight against crime, catching those responsible and helping keep our rural communities safe.”
Earlier this summer, NPARC team also teamed up with NFU Mutual, SelectaDNA and farmers across Northumberland to mark over £300,000 worth of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), trailers and other agricultural equipment with an invisible forensic code.
The code helps police easily spot stolen property that thieves may be attempting to sell on – and quickly identify rightful owners.