RURAL communities have been urged to use a hotline to report crime.

West Mercia Police yesterday used the national Rural Day of Action (November 8) to encourage people to use the dedicate Crimestoppers line for countryside incidents.

Superintendent Sue Thomas said "We are encouraging the public to use this anonymous reporting line, particularly during the national Rural Crime Day of Action on Thursday 8 November 2018.

"Our officers, staff and volunteers will be conducting proactive rural crime operations focussing on rural crime issues including enforcement, prevention, joint cross border patrols, and encouraging partner participation."

The Rural Crime Reporting line was launched with the NFU and unveiled to MPs at an event in Westminster, where they were urged to encourage constituents to use the service.

Supt Thomas added: "Rural crime is a serious issue for farmers, businesses and those who live in the countryside and this is a way the public can provide information anonymously via independent charity Crimestoppers.

"The information will be given anonymously to the police to help them investigate rural crimes."

Callers can report crime anonymously on 0800 783 0137.

They can also visit to anonymously give information large-scale, industrial fly-tipping, hHare coursing and poaching, livestock and machinery theft.

If a crime is in progress, or if someone is in immediate danger, call should call 999 immediately.

If it is not an emergency, please call 101.