CLEVELAND’S Police and Crime Commissioner has pledged his support to an operation aimed to preventing crime in rural areas.
PCC Barry Coppinger joined officers on Operation Barber - a cross force response address and prevent rural crime and reduce harm to isolated communities.
Police say residents living in rural areas are not only targeted by chance thieves but also by organised criminals and poachers.
Neighbourhood police officers, special constables and community volunteers were joined by Mr Coppinger as they visited rural areas this week gathering intelligence and raising awareness of the importance of reporting crime.
Mr Coppinger said: “The rural community in Cleveland is not forgotten and while we don’t have a large rural patch, we will not ignore the fact that these people and their properties need protecting.
“Some people living in rural areas can feel isolated and fear becoming a victim of crime.
“There has been some positive action taking place between residents and police and I’m keen to provide support for this to continue.”
He added: “I have recently joined the National Rural Crime Network to share good practice across the country and bring other ideas back to Cleveland.”
Cleveland Police Community Support Officer, Paul Payne, said: “We have had a very good response from the public following Operation Barber and have utilised the resources available to carry out a positive policing operation.”
Anyone suspecting rural crime can contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.