A Canal Watch scheme has been extended due to a recent increase in thefts from canal boats in South Derbyshire.
PC Chris Fearn from the Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team which covers Repton, Willington and Findern has worked hard to ensure the scheme will now encompass the 18 miles of Trent and Mersey canal in South Derbyshire.
PC Fearn said:"The Mercia Marina in Willington opened in 2008 and this was when we first set up the Canal Watch scheme for just the marina.
“It has been quite successful but as a result of recent events we have decided to extend the scheme to cover all canal routes in South Derbyshire.
“A newly commissioned website will go live next week and we will also be distributing application packs at marinas in the area.
“It will contain information on the Canal Watch partners, an opportunity to sign up to a Community Messaging service, stickers to put in boat windows and a UV pen to mark property so it can be identified if stolen.
“On the website, we will also be running a blog that people will be add comments to about ongoing situations or issues in the area.
“This is not just about crimes; it is about the safe operation of the canal system. We want to bring everyone involved under one umbrella and make things as easy and useful as possible.”
A recent rise in crime on the Willington to Shardlow stretch of the canal has forced officers to take a pro-active approach in the area.
Items taken include several pieces of machinery and also personal belongings from the boats.
Officers have increased their patrols in the area speaking to businesses along the canal stretch to raise awareness.
Application packs will be available from Mercia, Stenson and Shardlow marinas from the weekend.
The website at www.canalwatch.org.uk will go live later next week.
To contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team please call: 0345 123 33 33.
To contact PC Chris Fearn please call the above number or email: firstname.lastname@example.org