Police in Northumberland are targeting criminals and receiving an invaluable helping hand from the community.
Operation Recovery, which started last summer, has seen officers make arrests and recover property stolen after burglaries in rural communities.
The initiative also puts residents at the heart of the police activity by supporting victims and encouraging people to report suspicious activity on their doorstep including strangers and vehicles, especially when they’re seen in out of the way locations and at odd hours.
Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “Since the operation got underway we’ve been able to successfully utilise the great public spirit of our Northumberland communities – with people keen to help protect their local neighbourhoods from crime. People are now ringing in to police with information about any suspicious activity which they’ve seen. By acting on this additional intelligence together with our policing activity we have been able to prevent crime, recover stolen property and make arrests.
“Most importantly, we’ve been able to increase the public’s confidence in how we police their communities. Local people now know that when they report information to us we listen and quickly act on it, this provides extra reassurance to victims of crime. We also make sure we fully update callers with what we’ve done and how the information they’ve given us has helped.
“We want people to know we value their help and support and that it does make a real difference to how we police their community. We understand how vital it is that farm machinery and equipment used to support people’s livelihoods is safe from thieves. Such losses can cause great hardship in our rural communities.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC said: “Making sure our rural communities get the police service they need and deserve is a priority for me. It’s essential people have confidence in the police and know that information they pass on is fully used to best effect to help tackle crime. It’s important that people also get regular feedback about any crime they report or information they supply to help officers. This operation shows how much police rightly value this assistance and the real difference it makes in keeping communities safe.”
Police also get a great deal of help from partners including council staff, Forestry Commission workers and others who work on a daily basis across Northumberland. They are essential extra eyes and ears on the ground they also know local people and quickly recognise out of the ordinary occurrences and report this activity to police.
Officers regularly tap into the intelligence held by neighbouring forces, sharing information about travelling criminals and those they need to target. This knowledge is used to send police resources to patrol areas where they are most needed and can be most effective.
In addition to regular patrols, crime prevention initiatives, and visits to farms to help residents improve their security, police also use covert operations to obtain evidence about criminal activity.
Supt Paterson added: “We want to send a clear message to criminals who may think they can exploit rural communities – they’re not welcome here. We will employ the necessary resources to find out who they are launch an investigation against them to track them down and bring them before the courts. We will continue to carry out this operation as we know it is effective in tackling offenders and helps us to build stronger and closer relationships with our rural communities.”
Anyone with any information about crime in Northumberland should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Residents can also contact their local neighbourhood policing team to sign up to the community messaging system with regular crime prevention updates. For more crime prevention advice, visit www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention