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Rural crime watch by text begins

26 February 09 21:23 GMT

A scheme to keep a rural community in Surrey informed about criminal activity by text has started.

The Country Watch system has been introduced in Tandridge by Surrey Police to help them communicate with rural residents and businesses.

The text alert system was tested in Mole Valley in July last year.

Police said there were huge benefits of using text message to improve the flow of communication between the force and isolated and hard to reach areas.

Fifty people have signed up to the scheme and are already receiving notifications of crimes, suspicious incidents and activity in Tandridge.

Pc Nick Shrapel, the area's rural affairs adviser, said: "I already work closely with farmers, game keepers, the equestrian community and land owners and Country Watch will enable me to communicate more effectively and quickly with them."

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