POLICE officers say they have stopped around 50 vehicles in one day as the tackle rural crime in south Shropshire.

West Mercia Police said officers had carried out another successful operation to target rural criminals and reduce rural thefts.

Officers patrolled areas around South Shropshire and North Herefordshire as part of Operation Whitebeam, which police said has been a successful initiative to reduce rural thefts.

As part of the operation, police increase their presence in rural areas to deter criminals and provide reassurance to the community.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said that as a result, rural thefts had fallen in the South Shropshire area.

"Along with high visibility and plain vehicle patrols, on March 25 around 50 vehicles were stopped and drivers spoken to about the operation and how we are tackling rural crime," they said.

"A number of local farmers and business owners were also spoken to and crime prevention advice was shared and positively received."

Sergeant Damien Kelly, from the South Shropshire safer neighbourhood team, said: “We are extremely pleased that the most recent Operation Whitebeam has been just as successful as the previous operations.

"We are committed to keeping our communities safe and we want them know that these initiatives are helping achieve this.”