Selby’s rural areas have been troubled by crime on occasions - but the public are fighting back and their efforts are being applauded. A year on from the introduction of a Rural Watch patrol vehicle, operated by volunteers, the initiative has been declared a success by police.
The marked vehicle is identifiable through its white and yellow chacked livery and, over the past year, has contributed around 500 hours of patrol time. It is based at Eggborough police station and is staffed by ten police volunteers.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “The volunteer network in North Yorkshire forms a really important part of the policing family. The intelligence gathered can lead to police action, and it also reassures our rural community in Selby that the police are working with others to help keep everyone safe. I am really pleased to see this scheme progressing so well.
“The National Rural Crime Network survey showed rural communities are resilient, but also that crime is drastically under-reported.”
The Rural Watch patrol vehicle is sponsored by Julia Mulligan, the National Farmers’ Union, National Power Grid and the Selby Western and Southern area Community Engagement Forums.
Bryan Crossdale, a police volunteer manager based at Eggborough police station, said: “The Rural Watch car has proved to be a very successful deterrent to potential criminals with the team reporting many vehicles driving away from the area on seeing the car. The volunteers also phone in suspicious activity spotted while they are out on patrol, and are in essence, a capable guardian that reports suspicious people and vehicles directly to the police.”