HUNDREDS of farms and small holdings in the Penistone area will be able to sign up to a new police initiative aimed at preventing rural crime.
'Rural Watch' will allow farmers to share and access information about suspicious people, activity or vehicles.
The scheme will have four branches; farm watch, gamekeeper watch, badger watch and equestrian watch.
PC Matt Jackson, from Penistone Police Station, said: "There are about 400 to 500 farms and small holdings in the Penistone area and we're going to be going around the farms trying to get them signed up to the scheme.
"We want to try and get people together and get links between the rural community and try and reduce crime.
"The problem we have is that it's such a wide area that we need the community to be the eyes and ears for us and pass on any information that might try and bring crime down."
Final details have not yet been confirmed but information is likely to be accessed on the internet and, possibly, by telephoning a voice message system.
"There was a bit of an issue before Christmas with break-ins at farms and equipment going from farms," added PC Jackson.
"Obviously they're quite isolated and, by their nature, there are buildings there which are quite insecure.
"I'm going to be going to as many farms as I can in the next few weeks, starting with the farms that have been victims of crime in recent times."