LOCAL police officers have been visiting rural areas to encourage farm owners to sign up to Farm Watch.

As stated on the Avon and Somerset Police website, the purpose of the scheme is to reduce opportunities for rural crime, as well as encourage communication and co-operation amongst the farming community so that everyone can protect their property. 

The initiative also helps to improve the flow of intelligence between the police and the farming communities.

Those that are part of the scheme are urged to report suspicious behaviour or individuals as soon as possible.

Posting on Facebook, a spokesperson from the North Somerset Neighbourhood Policing team said: "PCSO Steve 8338 has been out on the rural beats today signing farm owners up to Farm Watch.

"Please follow link to sign up or contact us through our beat page on how to become part of the scheme which is free."