Wolvey is the latest rural community in the north of the county to join a crime prevention initiative funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe. By gaining ‘Supported Village’ status villagers are demonstrating that their community is not a soft touch for rural crime, with all households and community buildings being offered advice on how to protect themselves and improve their security.
Run through the Warwickshire Rural Crime Project, the Supported Villages programme aims to help communities with proactive crime prevention, providing a sustainable scheme which can then be maintained by the community. Over the past year, parish councillors have been working with PC Stuart Baker and other members of the police Safer Neighbourhood Team and North Warwickshire’s Rural Crime Coordinator Carol Cotterill to provide security advice across the whole village.
Several property marking days have been held where villagers could bring along equipment and valuables, while community locations such as the church, allotments and cricket club have all also been proactively targeted with crime prevention measures. Signage is provided to all properties where security marking has taken place and additional ‘thieves beware’ signs have also been put on the entrances to Wolvey.
PC Stuart Baker from the Rugby Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “I am delighted that Wolvey is to become the first community on our SNT area to gain supported village status. Over the past nine months, the team have been working hard with the local community to bring this initiative to fruition. This sends out a clear message that property in Wolvey is marked to deter against theft and communities are working closely with police to make Wolvey an unattractive opportunity for criminals.”
Carol Cotterill, Rural Crime Coordinator for North Warwickshire, said: From when I made the original presentation on the work of the Rural Crime Project and the Supported Villages Scheme twelve months ago at the Parish Council AGM, the parish council and community of Wolvey have been fully behind the initiative and worked with the team to provide information and support the events we have held.”
Jackie Essex, Parish Clerk for Wolvey Parish Council said: “This kit means that people in Wolvey can now have any new items security marked at any time, instead of having to wait for organised events. This is an example of local communities, Warwickshire Police and the Rural Crime Project, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, working together to fight against rural crime”.
To mark its new ‘Supported Village’ status, the parish council was presented with a crime prevention toolbox by Chief Inspector Neil Harrison from Warwickshire Police. The toolbox includes CRE-Mark overt security marking kits, UV and permanent markers, gates signs, stickers and crime prevention leaflets on a variety of topics for anyone in the community who wants to have items marked in future.
Wolvey becomes the third village in the Rugby district to join the Supported Villages Scheme after Binley Woods and Willoughby, with three others in the north of the county also protected. A further three villages are also working with their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Carol to become part of the ‘Supported Villages Scheme’.
For more information about tackling rural crime, visit the Warwickshire Rural Watch website at: www.warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk.