CANAL users can become crime fighters when police unveil a new campaign to keep the waterways safe.
Those who sign up to Canal Watch will be able to report suspicious activity and find out about any incidents on the waterways in their area.
They will have access to the Owl (Online Watch Link) system currently used by Neighbourhood Watch groups. If incident hot spots are identified police and Police Community Support Officers will help British Waterways officers patrol them.
The mid-Staffordshire scheme is being launched by Staffordshire Police next week. It follows the launch of a similar scheme in South Staffordshire in March 2011 which has proved a success.
Louise Jones, the Staffordshire Police Canal Watch co-ordinater, said: “Our neighbourhood officers and PCSOs routinely patrol the canal towpaths but as we have such a large network we want to encourage members of the public to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity near canals.
“The towpaths are often used by dogwalkers, joggers and people fishing and it is these regular users who can help us continue to keep crime on towpaths and canals low.
“The scheme allows members to access and share information on reported incidents in their area by email, text or by visiting the Canal Watch Facebook page they will also receive advice and guidance on crime prevention.
“This official launch is taking place at the busy Aston Marina and we welcome anyone who is interested to pop down and have a chat.” Anyone interested in signing up can find out more at Aston Marina 11am- 4pm on Thursday, April 5.