A NEW police scheme aimed at clamping down on countryside crime has been launched.

The first RuralWatch meeting is at Brindle Village Hall, from 6pm on Monday with all local farmers and villagers welcome to attend and sign up as members of the scheme.

About 100 local residents, including those from Wheelton, Rivington, Brinscall and Houghton, have already signed up.

RuralWatch allows police officers to quickly share information with famers, villagers and businesses based in and around rural Chorley.

Text messages are sent to alert those in the scheme of any suspicious behaviour or recent crimes, so that they can take the necessary precautions to keep their land, homes, animals and property safe.

The initiative has been organised by PCSO for Chorley Rural East, Michelle Appleton.

She said: “This is a new scheme and we already have a healthy group of local farmers and villagers signed up from rural Chorley.

“We are looking for more responsible residents to join in so please come to the meeting to find out more information or feel free to e-mail me if you can’t make it.

“With police and the community working together we can help keep our local countryside and villages safe places to work and live for both our generation and future ones to come.”