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Settle Ingleton & Bentham Mobile Rural Watch

 

In March, The Settle Ingleton Bentham Mobile Rural Watch have been helping to protect the rural communities in the area for the last two and a half years. Formed by volunteers in September 2019 and recognised as the only police approved Rural Watch Group covering the eight Craven District Council Wards of Bentham, Hellifield & Long Preston, Ingleton & Clapham, Penyghent and Settle & Ribblebanks, the volunteers act as the eyes and ears for the police, communicating directly with them via a WhatsApp Group. Members report directly to the Police on any suspicious activity they see day or night and can take part in joint Police and Rural Watch Patrols throughout the area. The group are making a real difference to rural crime in our local communities; we have been instrumental in passing on key information about suspicious activity to North Yorkshire Police, which has led to a number of arrests and recovery of stolen property.

A Steering Group made up of members and a Police Sergeant run the group, which now has an office at Ingleton Police Station. Each member going out on a night patrol is equipped with a Kit Bag of essential equipment. For safety reasons, another member working from home monitors each night patrol. These monitors follow and track via computer, the movement of members and are in constant radio contact, ready to respond to any request to report or record any suspicious or unusual activity to police. We do not need to monitor members travelling around during the day as they are at less risk and they can report directly to police via the WhatsApp Group on anything suspicious.

We work to a Police approved Code of Conduct and had permission to continue to patrol throughout the lockdown period, when instead of working in pairs, the majority of members patrolled solo. Our area is large and we are now seeking to recruit more volunteers especially from the farming community, as these are often the target of the travelling criminals, but anyone over eighteen with good local knowledge, a mobile phone, and preferably a car, can join.

Anyone wishing to join our voluntary group would have to agree to abide by the Code of Conduct, our policies in respect of Radio and WhatsApp communications and complying with the Data Protection Act. If you or anyone you know are interested, in joining the Settle Ingleton Bentham Group, The Bowland Group or a Group in the Upper Wharfedale or South Craven area please email leigh@localwatch.co.uk for more information.

Rural Watch Supervisor R8353

Coordinator Settle Ingleton & Bentham Mobile Rural Watch

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