POLICE came across a stolen trailer while offering security advice to a farm in Somerset.

The trailer was recovered and returned to its owner by officers from the Avon and Somerset Rural Affairs Unit.

Officer conducting a routine visit at a property near Somerton to complete a signup to the Farm Watch scheme last Friday (February 4) discovered a trailer which matched the description of property that was reported stolen in east Somerset in May last year.

With the permission of the farm owner, the trailer was examined and confirmed as the stolen item.

Enquiries to locate those responsible for the theft are ongoing.

PCSO Michael Storey said: “The victim of the theft was very pleased to have the stolen property returned.

“Theft, burglary and criminal damage are the most commonly reported crimes in rural areas and they can have a significant impact on farmers’ livelihoods.

“This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring property is clearly marked so that if it is stolen, it can be identified and returned if recovered.

“We encourage members our rural communities to take extra steps to protect their land and property, details of which can be found on our website. ”

A revitalised rural affairs strategy for Avon and Somerset sees neighbourhood officers and a dedicated Rural Affairs Unit working closely with victims of rural crime and sharing information across neighbourhood policing teams.

The Farm Watch and Horse Watch schemes – initiatives unique to Avon and Somerset with several thousand members - play a key role in this strategy, enabling the community to be the force's ‘eyes and ears’, and contribute vital intelligence which has played a key role in bringing offenders to justice.

The schemes give police the ability to send live updates, alerting members to thefts or suspicious activity in the area, as well as providing crime prevention tips.