Around £1.5 million has been pledged to tackle business and rural crime across Shropshire.
The announcement was made by Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore at a conference in Shrewsbury last night.
He said: “There is a real need for increased policing to reduce crime in rural areas. Prevention is key. A lot of crime is not being reported and I would appeal to the public to have that renewed confidence to report it.”
West Mercia Chief Constable David Shaw also announced the Business and Rural Crime Reduction Strategy which included a series of initiatives to tackle the problems facing rural and business communities.
He said the initiatives included awarding special flag status to towns, villages and public spaces with low levels of all crime as well as integrated community management projects to combat vagrancy, littering, dog fouling and graffiti.
Mr Shaw said many rural crimes were solved by a strong intelligence network built up using a number of resources and appealed to the public to contact the police if they saw anything they believed to be suspicious.
The conference, attended by representatives from West Mercia police, businesses, community and council organisations, was organised to launch schemes aimed at reducing the number of victims of crime in rural areas.
High Sheriff of Shropshire Robert Bland told the conference that young people in jobs did not commit crimes and that more needed to be done to tackle Shropshire’s skills gap.
He said small businesses, particularly in rural areas, and training establishments needed to work more closely together to ensure that youngsters were given the right training to fill the county’s job vacancies which would not only help reduce crime but also help local companies grow.