A member of the Watrous RCMP is hoping a new program he is implementing called "Agri-Watch" will help alleviate rural crime in his area.

Wednesday night in Young, Constable Marcel Taekema hosted a meeting with local farmers explaining the background and basis of the program.

"The idea of Agri-Watch started in Chilliwack, BC where I am from. I joined the RCMP and was posted here in Watrous and one of the things I noticed is the increased amount of theft from rural properties in the area and farm yards so I figured I would implement the program out here and see what we can get started solving crime in the area."

The program includes a number of strategies to help prevent and solve rural crime including information sharing options such as Facebook and social media, town hall meetings and increased communication with officers.

During the meeting one thing he passed on to the attendees is that they want to hear from victims and every call is treated seriously.

"A lot of people will call us and the notion is out there that they think we are too busy or we don't have the time for it, but really there's no call too small, we will come check it out and make a police file."

Cst. Taekema also provided prevention tips to the attendees as well as tips such as logging your farm equipment and marking your property as well with clear identifiable markings such as initials or your driver's license number.

He said this problem has been around for years but with increased technology it appears rural theft and break-ins is on the rise.

"It has been an increasing issue over the years but obviously with media and social media the word gets out quicker and people feel crime is increasing but as I explained tonight, the numbers over the last couple years have stayed about the same but they are slowly increasing."

Taekema also believes the majority of the crime is a mix of "professional" thieves from larger centres as well as local "punks" causing issues.

Objectives of the Agri-Watch program is to improve community awareness, to promote crime prevention plus provide tips to producers if a crime does occur such as how to properly retrieve their property.

You can hear more from Taekema below in his interview with Bolt FM's Clark Stork below.