8,000 farms offered free crime prevention advice in major rural policing operation

Thousands of farms across North Yorkshire will be offered a free security check-up, as part of a major new crime prevention initiative.

Although North Yorkshire is the safest place in the country, isolated and rural areas are frequently targeted by cross-border criminals, who travel from outside the area to commit crime.

Operation Woollen was developed by PC Neil Slater and PCSO Mel Parkin of the York Community Safety Hub, and has so far seen dozens of farms around York offered security advice and visited by a police crime prevention expert.

The operation has been very well-received in the city, and will now be rolled out across all of North Yorkshire – the largest county in England – by North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce.

Eight thousand farms across the county will receive a crime prevention pack in the post, including a security survey, information about dot peen property marking and North Yorkshire Community Messaging. They will also be offered a free visit from a ‘crime prevention champion’ – a PC or PCSO from the Rural Taskforce or local Neighbourhood Policing Team with expertise in farm security.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is the safest place in the country, but it’s important we stay vigilant and do everything we can to keep people and businesses safe, particularly in rural areas.

“Thanks to Operation Woollen, every farm in the county will receive a crime prevention pack, and be offered a security survey by a trained expert. In addition, we will be promoting dot peen property marking, and encouraging businesses to sign up to the North Yorkshire Community Messaging system.

“Starting this month, and continuing throughout the year, farms should look out for a letter from North Yorkshire Police, and return the form in the pre-paid envelope provided. Of course, anyone wanting crime prevention advice as soon as possible can contact us directly on ruraltaskforce@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and we’ll be in touch.”

Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number will be entered onto the national Immobilise property register database, vastly increasing the chances that it will be reunited with its owner if it is lost or stolen. Look out for drop-in property marking sessions on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #whatisdotpeen

North Yorkshire Community Messaging is a free system that lets people register to receive the latest crime notifications and community news in their neighbourhoods. People can register or download the free app for Apple and Android devices via www.nycm.co.uk

The Operation Woollen crime prevention survey can also be accessed via the “Staying safe” page of the North Yorkshire Police website, www.northyorkshire.police.uk.