POLICE and volunteers have visited farms, events, markets and rural businesses as part of a day of action tackling rural crime.

Officers visited people across Avon and Somerset, including Moorland, on April 24 to give crime prevention advice, help with property marking and promote membership of the Farm, Rural and Horse Watch Schemes.

The day also saw the launch of a new Rural Crime Team, led by Sgt Stuart Williams, which will be helping protect the rural communities of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The team will provide training to staff and other officers to help give them a better understanding of rural issues and ultimately provide a better service to rural communities.

Superintendent Ian Wylie, who is the force lead on rural crime, said: “Farmers need to know that we understand the long-term effect crime can have on their business and day-to-day working environment.

“That is one of the key areas that the new Rural Crime Team will be looking at to help support local policing teams.”

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Farmers, residents and businesses tell me they want to engage with the police and to work together to help prevent and reduce rural crime from happening in the first place.

“This new team and focused days of action will embed rural crime as a priority for the police in Avon and Somerset and offer dedicated officers and staff with real expertise on rural issues.”

For more information visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or call 101.