Farm watch

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A scheme to help reduce crime in rural parts of Leeds has received a £6,000 boost from local councillors for this year.

Farmwatch sees local police make use of two Landrovers to patrol the farming communities of Wetherby and Harewood, to combat poaching, equipment theft and crop damage.

The North East Outer Area Committee agreed the funding to cover the cost of fuel and tyres over the next few months.

The vehicles were donated by Ripon Farm Services and Hesco Bastion, who also pay for the road tax and service costs.

Coun Gerald Wilkinson said he was delighted with the funding of the “excellent” initiative.

“I know that local people really appreciate the contribution that these patrols make in helping to keep our rural areas safe and free of crime.

“The Wetherby and Harewood Neighbourhood Police Team have developed effective links with local communities and know how best to tackle the main types of crime that are faced in the villages.”

Councillor Matthew Robinson (Conservative, Harewood ward) said: “Farmwatch is a great scheme and I’m glad we could provide this funding to help keep it running into next year.

“It’s important that the police have the tools they need to address specific kinds of crime faced by the agriculture industry.

“Thanks are also due to the continued generosity of Hesco Bastion and Ripon Farm Services for providing the vehicles used in the Farmwatch patrols.”