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Rural residents urged to watch out for suspicious activity – and ‘call it in’

Police are urging people in rural areas to be vigilant and report anything suspicious, as part of a major new campaign.

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Particularly in rural areas, local communities can act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, allowing officers to clamp down on crime wherever it occurs.

As part of the ‘Call it in’ campaign, North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce is asking residents to note down and report any suspicious activity, particularly in remote or isolated areas, to help ensure North Yorkshire remains one of the safest places in the country.

The campaign’s key messages will feature in prominent adverts in publications covering rural areas, including the Gazette & Herald and Darlington & Stockton Times newspapers, and The Dalesman magazine. The message will also appear on beer mats in more than 50 rural North Yorkshire pubs, at the heart of local communities, and at auction marts and other premises around the county. Social media will be used to spread the word too, using the hashtag #callitin.

Free booklets to record suspicious activity are also being distributed at local events and in North Yorkshire County Council’s supermobile library service. The booklets contain rural crime prevention advice, information about Rural Watch schemes and the Rural Taskforce, as well as space to record anything that seems out of place or suspicious – with contact details on how to report those details to the police.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is the largest single county force in England, and we’re proud of all the work we do to keep our area safe. However, we cannot be everywhere, so information and intelligence from local communities plays a key role in the fight against crime. That can come from our fantastic Watch scheme volunteers, or from our Community Messaging system, but also from simple calls from members of the public.

“Local residents are the best people to recognise when something is not quite right – and if that’s the case, we’d like to hear about it. Please report anything suspicious to the police using the 101 phone number. Even if it doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of information helps us build up a picture and could prove vital in bringing criminals to justice.”

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce works proactively alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality. You can meet members of the Taskforce at community events throughout the year, including markets, auctions and shows. You can also follow the team’s work on Twitter at @NYPRuralTF or via the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force Facebook page.