CHESHIRE Police’s Rural Crime Team has launched a new campaign to combat a rise in the number of Land Rover Defender thefts.

The popular ‘workhorse’ vehicles are seen as vital to those living and working in rural communities, and the theft of them can leave families devastated.

To combat a national increase in Defender thefts, the Rural Crime Team has been handing out stickers featuring the wording 'Police Stop Me'.

The stickers are to be placed in the back window of Land Rovers to prompt officers to stop the vehicle to make sure the rightful owner is sitting behind the wheel.

Winsford Guardian:

Sergeant Rob Simpson said: “In line with the national picture, we are seeing an increase in Defenders being stolen due to their continuing popularity.

“Defenders are the workhorses of farms and well-loved parts of the family with pet names such as 'Dave', so when they are stolen, it can be devastating for owners emotionally and financially.

“That is why we want to make life as difficult as possible for criminals by stopping Defenders any time and day, even if the vehicle hasn’t got a sticker.

“The stickers are a prompt for officers and a reminder to residents that if they see suspicious activity, they should call police so that together, we can send a message to thieves that it’s just not worth the risk.”

You can pick up a sticker at your local police station and can report suspicious activity by calling 101 or by visiting cheshire.police.uk.