Police scheme launched to protect farms from thieves

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A POLICE scheme is under way to help protect farms in the Kirkburton and Denby Dale area from criminals.

Farmlink involves the Kirkburton and Denby Dale Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) passing on information about crimes committed in the area.

It is hoped that sharing information and offering crime prevention advice will help farmers to better protect their property and be aware of any crime issues.

Pc Sally Baines and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) Sharon Mellor and Bob Armitage, of the Kirkburton and Denby Dale NPT, have recently visited 33 farms to encourage farmers to sign up to the scheme.

Pc Baines said: “Kirkburton and Denby Dale is a very rural area with a high number of farms.

“Unfortunately some farmers suffer from various thefts including the theft of metal, stone and plant machinery which several of them can ill afford in the current economic climate. We hope that by sharing information between us and the farms in the area we can help prevent thefts of this kind.”

She added: “Obviously we do investigate crimes and do treat them very seriously. Farmlink is just another tool for us to use and is about farmers providing us with their contact details so that when any crimes occur, we can contact them by text, phone, e-mail or post to let them know.”

The farmers have contact details for the police team at Kirkburton Police Station so they can inform officers of any thefts or incidents on their land. A regular newsletter will also be sent out to all Farmlink members.

Kirklees Police’s crime reduction officers have created a crime prevention leaflet specifically aimed at the agricultural community.

The leaflet, entitled Put a Stop to Rural Crime, has been distributed across the Kirkburton, Denby Dale and Valleys areas.

Pc Baines said: “So far there has been a very positive reaction from all the farmers, landowners and stable owners that we’ve spoken to and we’re hoping to get lots of application forms sent back to us and be able to create a real crime-fighting community.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Farmlink member can contact 01484 436898 or email: ea.kirkburtonnpt@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and an information pack will be sent out.