Actor Brian Blessed backs Surrey anti-crime scheme

image captionActor Brian Blessed has given his backing to the Country Watch scheme

A scheme to tackle rural crime launched in Guildford has been backed by actor and Surrey resident Brian Blessed.

The Country Watch scheme uses text messages to alert rural communities about suspicious activity.

It was already in operation in parts of Surrey and was launched across the county, at Loseley Park in Guildford.

The scheme was launched by Surrey Rural Partnership's vice-chairman, Sir Graham Wilkinson, who stepped in after Blessed was unable to attend.

The text alert system was first tested in the county in Mole Valley in July 2008.

Police said the scheme had huge benefits because it improved the flow of communication between the force and rural areas which could be isolated and hard to reach.

Members who sign up to the scheme receive notifications of crimes and suspicious activity in their area.

Officers have worked with farmers, game keepers, the equestrian community and land owners to set up Country Watch.

The NFU and Surrey Wildlife Trust have welcomed the move.

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