New police warning is hot stuff

Police sergeant Neville Wharrier with the electronic farmwatch sign on the A697.
Police sergeant Neville Wharrier with the electronic farmwatch sign on the A697.

THE sun is the latest tool Northumbria Police is using to highlight crime in rural areas.

Two solar powered road signs have been rolled out across parts of Northumberland promoting the work officers are doing in the rural areas and raising awareness of the force’s FarmWatch scheme.

The 8ft by 8ft signs will be in the county for a month and are being stationed at a number of main roads. They will advertise the scheme and show simple crime prevention advice

They will be on the A1 northbound, near to Felton, and on the A697 northbound at Weldon Bridge, over the next fortnight and then the A69 Haydon Bridge bypass and on the A68/A695 junction at Broomhaugh roundabout for the next two weeks.

Northumberland Superintendent Mick Pearson said: “The signs are big and bold and perfect for spreading the message about FarmWatch and the work we are doing in our rural communities to keep them safe.

“FarmWatch is a really useful tool in the fight against rural crime. It allows us to be in constant contact with our most rural communities.

“I’d urge anyone who lives in rural Northumberland to sign up and play their part. We need as many of our rural residents signed up as possible as they are our eyes and ears. Over the next few weeks motorists should keep their eyes peeled for one of our solar signs.”

The signs have been paid for by the Northumberland safety partnership – made up of council, police and fire services.

Northumberland’s FarmWatch scheme has over 1,500 members all across the county.

Farmers, landowners and rural residents are all linked to police via text message, phone and emails. Police share information with members about suspicious vehicles, crime trends, incidents of note and crime prevention advice.

The scheme also has links with neighbouring forces in Durham and Cumbria.