A NEW campaign is being launched online to combat rural crime.

Crimestoppers has launched the Scene it, Herd it, Speak up about it anonymously campaign in a bid to reduce the £42.3million lost in rural theft in 2012.

The charity will be spreading the message through social media sites in particular giving advice to fight back against poaching, hare-coursing, theft of oil, metal and machinery.

The charity is also hosting a blog via www.blog.crimestoppers-uk.org The campaign is being supported by the National Farmers’ Union among others.

Rural crime is a major focus in Essex due to the amount of farms and farmland across the county.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Although crime occurs less in rural areas, it does still exist and impacts on large sections of the community."

Anyone with information or suspicions concerning criminal activity in the rural community can also ring the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number on 0800 555 111 or contact the charity via our Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.