Volunteers step in to help tackle rural crime in Northumberland
A group of volunteers has been sworn in as part of a crackdown on rural crime across Northumberland.
A total of 20 Rural Crime Volunteers officially joined Northumbria Police on Wednesday and will work closely with its officers and other partner agencies to help prevent and disrupt local and cross-border criminal activity.
Each volunteer will support officers with local and national police operations including Operation Checkpoint.
Superintendent Helen Anderson, from Northumbria Police, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these volunteers into our policing family.
“Each volunteer already has contacts within their own rural communities which will help with getting messages out and intelligence in. They will also help us to promote rural crime prevention messages for hard to reach audiences.
Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “It’s amazing to see so much dedication from these volunteers. They continue to support officers and staff in their work to tackle rural crime and they do it all on their own time and on occasion risking their own personal safety.”
The volunteers come from a variety of different backgrounds including gamekeepers, estate managers and farmers.
Volunteers already have a good understanding of local crime and wildlife concerns in their areas which can be passed to the right agency for the best response.
While a Rural Crime Volunteer does not have powers to arrest they will have access to police equipment and information, for example having access to radio channels to share intelligence during operations.
Supt Anderson added: “By swearing them in, we can strengthen our working relationships and recognise their contribution as official police volunteers.”