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Rutland crime prevention is boosted by a partnership between Rutland police, Rutland County Council, and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

An initiative that equips and trains villagers in the fight against crime is being rolled out.

The Safer Villages scheme has been developed by the Rutland County Council’s community safety team, together with Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

By providing villages with their own stock of community safety resources, materials and specialist training, the scheme aims to reduce crimes that can affect rural areas.

Coun Alan Walters and Rutland County Council community safety officer Julia Thomas with one of the new Safer Villages boxes
Coun Alan Walters and Rutland County Council community safety officer Julia Thomas with one of the new Safer Villages boxes

These can include shed break-ins, burglaries and vehicle thefts. Other community safety priorities include ongoing efforts to tackle speeding in towns and villages.

Councillor Alan Walters (Con - Oakham North), cabinet member for community safety at Rutland County Council and chairman of the Safer Rutland Partnership, said: “Rutland is an area of low crime. It’s a very safe place to live. However, we can be a target for opportunistic criminals who use the A1 to travel in and out of areas to commit thefts and burglaries.

“The Safer Villages scheme aims to equip communities with the knowledge and tools that can help guard against crime.

"By working together with the police and local villages in this way, we want to stop and deter thieves who see rural communities as an easy target.”

The Safer Villages scheme will equip villages with a box of crime prevention equipment, including shed alarms, window alarms, signs, stickers and special markers that can be used to security tag garden tools and household items.

Each box will also contain information and advice about vehicle crime, home security, fire safety and spotting fraudsters.

Safer Village boxes will be distributed to parishes that agree to have a ‘Safer Villages champion’ – someone who will receive specialist training from the council’s community safety team and Leicestershire Police, so that they can advise their communities.

The Safer Villages scheme will be trialled in a small number of villages and reviewed after 12 months, before being rolled out more widely across Rutland.

Training is due to begin in September and the parishes that have volunteered to join the scheme first are Ketton, Market Overton, Lyddington and Greetham.

Sergeant Nicholas Woodrow from Leicestershire Police, said: “Keeping our rural communities safe is vitally important and we would always encourage anyone who notices something suspicious to contact the police, by calling 999 in an emergency or 101.”

Matthew Walters, station manager at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The safety of our communities is paramount to everything we do as a service.”

Anyone with any questions about the Safer Villages scheme can contact Rutland County Council by emailing: communitysafety@rutland.gov.uk.

For more information about community safety and how to report crime and antisocial behaviour, click here.

For more news about crime and policing in this area, click here.

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