Derbyshire Canal Watch scheme extended after thefts

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A scheme to protect canal boat owners in south Derbyshire has been extended after a spate of thefts.

The Canal Watch initiative, set up when Mercia Marina opened in 2008, will now encompass 18 miles of the Trent and Mersey canal.

It follows a recent rise in crime in the Willington and Shardlow areas, including the theft of machinery and personal belongings from boats.

Canal Watch operates in similar way to Neighbourhood Watch.

Members are given useful contacts and safety advice, and can place a sticker on their boat windows to deter potential thieves.

A range of organisations, including Derbyshire Police, South Derbyshire District Council and British Waterways, are involved.

Police said they have also increased patrols in Willington and Shardlow, and have been speaking to businesses nearby to raise awareness of the recent problems.

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