A candidate for Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner wants to recruit a new unit of volunteers to help fight rural crime - if he is elected in May.
Marc Jones, the Conservative candidate, says he would appoint ‘parish constables’ in communities across the county.
The new roles would mirror that of special constables who work on a voluntary basis, but who wear uniform and still hold the same powers as regular officers.
Mr Jones says he would recruit from Lincolnshire villages with full training made available to new parish constables before they join the beat.
In contrast to special constables, they would be permanently based in his or her local community with flexible hours to work around their other responsibilities.
Mr Jones said: “I’ve been speaking to residents and farmers across rural Lincolnshire and many are concerned about growing crime like farm, tractor and business thefts.
“This is why if elected in May I will launch a recruitment blitz for a new team of parish constables, who will be fully trained and sourced from our close-knit communities.
“Lots of reliable people volunteer for their community, take school governors for example, and becoming a parish constable would be no different. The benefits will be two-fold with not only increased police accessibility but a bigger presence too to make people feel safer and ward off criminals.”
His idea has been backed by farmer Peter Moulds who said: “Rural crime might not always grab the headlines but it is a persistent problem which can have devastating consequences for businesses and the local economy.”
“I have spoken to Marc and I believe his idea of recruiting of local volunteers to help police the countryside is something very worthwhile and could make a real difference.”