A CRIME fighting tool developed by a rural community has been presented to the police.
Esclusham residents have come together to create software that may be a national first – a digital map and database that will give police everything they need to know about the rural landscape.
After months developing the groundbreaking rural mapping system, the rural watch team behind the pilot handed the first interactive tablet to PCSO Sofia Iftikar at a community police meeting.
It is hoped the digital map on the tablet will assist Esclusham and Ponciau police tackle rural-specific crime.
Mary Huxley, part of the development and rural watch team, said: “The map details significant information such as land ownership, cattle and flock numbers and whether hunting is permitted on land.
“The aim is a police officer or PCSO attending a rural crime will have this tablet to hand making it quicker to orientate themselves to the outlying rural areas and giving them immediate access to data.”
Fellow team member Paula Williams said: “If there is theft of farm machinery, sheep worrying or a breach in a livestock boundary, it will help the attending police team to have immediate access to know who the field belongs to.
“It’s important that, as farmers and land owners, we can react quickly to contain livestock, ascertain illegal hunting or spread word quickly of a machinery theft through the OWL Watch Alert system. This digital map will help the community and police teams do this.”
The idea arose when local people attended the monthly police meeting with PCSO Sofia Iftikar who said: “We are very excited about the potential of this scheme. It has been a community driven project by residents who want to tackle crime specific to them in a proactive way.
“They have a can do attitude which has lead to this development as it is important we have as much information as possible and as quickly as possible which this mapping scheme provides.”
MP Susan Elan Jones, who supported the scheme, said: ‘I am extremely interested in this development and wholeheartedly support initiatives that help North Wales Police. I am sure it will inspire other communities, and assist many other rural police forces in the future.”