Axe Valley farmers urged to beef up security

Police at Axminster and Seaton relaunch their Farm Watch campaign to combat rural crime

POLICE across the Axe Valley are urging rural communities to beef up their security.

Over the coming weeks officers from Seaton and Axminster will be visiting farms and remote businesses in the area, inviting them to join the Farm Watch scheme.

PCSO Mike McGauley, from Seaton, said: “We live in a large rural area consisting of a large number of farms, rural business and remote properties, many of which have tractors, trailers, quad bikes and other valuable large machinery.

“Farm Watch will help the police and the rural community work together to combat rural crime.

“By sharing information, including details of any suspicious vehicles, providing a property marking service for tools and machinery, supplying Farm Watch signs and stickers and crime prevention advice, we will help reduce the number of rural crimes committed and increase the chances of detection.

“We have already visited a number of farms and the scheme has been very well received.”

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Amongst the aims of the scheme are to increase the prevention and detection of farm related crime, promote community engagement between individual members, the police and other farming related groups, reduce the fear of crime and increase public confidence in the police and other involved agencies.

The benefits include:

* Free access to the police community messaging system.

* Advice on how to report suspicious activity.

* Access to your local police neighbourhood team and Farm Watch co-ordinator.

* Provision of regular farm crime information in your area

* Information about security products that reduce thefts and increase the chance of offenders being caught

* Details on how to register property and search for details of stolen property prior to buying equipment.

Anyone interested in signing up to the Farm Watch scheme, can email either Mike McGauley or PCSO Chris Bolsover at