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Police Scotland officers urge Highland residents to sign up to Rural Watch Scotland

By Philip Murray

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Police Scotland news.
Police Scotland news.

Police have urged residents living in the north Highlands to sign up to a rural version of Neighbourhood Watch - to help fight crime and keep alerted to emergency messages.

Officers in the area argue that by signing up to Rural Watch Scotland people can help keep a lid on local crime and share information to keep their communities safer.

The scheme's "Neighbourhood Alert" system allows officers to send out localised messages relating to crimes in specific areas, provide updates, request public assistance, and provide prevention advice.

It can also be used for emergency messages such as flooding or extreme weather warnings.

PC John McDonald said: "The Highland area is a beautiful part of Scotland but sadly is often a target for those involved in rural crime.

“Rural Watch Scotland allows us to share up to date information relating to recent incidents and allow residents to respond to targeted messages and assist in the prevention and detection of crime in their area.

"The personal impact that becoming a victim of crime has, along with financial loss, can be devastating to rural communities, particularly if farming equipment, fuel or livestock is targeted.

“I have no doubt that this approach will make a real difference to local people. By working together, we can reduce opportunities for criminals and provide communities with advice on deterring criminality.

"Anyone affected by rural crime should report it to Police Scotland and I would also encourage people to sign up to Rural Watch Scotland.”

Ian Moffat, engagement officer at Neighbourhood Watch Scotland said: “I wish to thank our colleagues at Police Scotland for their continued support in promoting Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

“Crime can have a significant impact on people and communities. We are committed to partnership working and it is hoped people will feel more informed and prevent them from becoming a victim.”

Rural Watch Scotland is an extension of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and a part of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC).

For more information on how to get involved and receive alerts go to the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland website at https://orlo.uk/DNmh8 or the Rural Watch Scotland website at https://orlo.uk/tu0oZ.

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