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PCC Kim McGuinness welcomes new rural crime volunteers

21st November 2019

A fresh-faced group of volunteers will be sworn in this week in a bid to crackdown on rural crime across Northumberland.

A total of 20 Rural Crime Volunteers officially joined Northumbria Police on Wednesday (November 20) and will work closely with our officers and other partner agencies to help prevent and disrupt local and cross-border criminal activity.

Each volunteer will support officers with local and national police operations including Operation Checkpoint.

Superintendent Helen Anderson, from Northumbria Police, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these volunteers into our policing family.

“Each volunteer already has contacts within their own rural communities which will help with getting messages out and intelligence in.  They will also help us to promote rural crime prevention messages for hard to reach audiences.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “It’s amazing to see so much dedication from these volunteers. They continue to support officers and staff in their work to tackle rural crime and they do it all on their own time and on occasion risking their own personal safety.

“It’s an honour to be able to present them with their badges and welcome them to Northumbria Police as official Rural Crime Volunteers. I wish them all the luck for their future operations and have no doubt they will continue to be an essential asset to the Force.”

The volunteers come from a variety of different backgrounds including gamekeepers, estate managers and farmers and are coming far and wide from the border with Cumbria down to the Durham.

Volunteers already have a good understanding of local crime and wildlife concerns in their areas which can be passed to the right agency for the best response.

One of the volunteers sworn in said: “It’s about doing my part for the community. We can be the eyes and the ears out in the public to help officers and do our bit. Whether it is looking out for suspicious activity and vehicles or sharing intelligence quickly amongst officers and other volunteers – it can all pay off.”

While a Rural Crime Volunteer does not have powers to arrest they will have access to police equipment and information, for example having access to radio channels to share intelligence during operations.

Superintendent Anderson added: “By swearing them in, we can strengthen our working relationships and recognise their contribution as official police volunteers. I want to wish them luck and once again offer my gratitude for all they do.”