Dyfed-Powys Police have launched a new initiative designed to crack down on heritage crime in Wales.

The force wants to use the campaign to tackle unlawful activity which harms historic assets including buildings, monuments, parks, gardens and landscapes.

Offences include illegal metal detecting, nighthawking or unauthorised off-roading.

Thee scheme is the first of its kind in the UK, and is aimed raising awareness and preventing heritage crime across Wales.

Inspector Reuben Palin, from Dyfed-Powys Police said: “People are rightly proud of their heritage but unfortunately there is a minority that don’t give it the respect it deserves.

“Heritage crime is a serious issue that can have a serious negative effect on our communities.

“Our heritage and the small pieces of history that are broken down or lost to heritage crime, can never be replaced, so we want to make people think about their actions and discourage anyone from doing it.”

Police teams will be working with Cadw, Natural Resources Wales, the National Trust, Fire and Rescue services, archaeological trusts and various volunteers to protect the county’s heritage.

Heritage crime often takes the form of ‘general’ offences such as theft, criminal damage, arson, unlawful salvage of shipwrecks and anti-social behaviour which is damaging to historic assets and interferes with the public’s understanding and enjoyment of them.

Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable, Dr Richard Lewis, said: “Our heritage is what makes us who we are so it is vital that we protect these landmarks and landscapes for future generations.

“As police forces we are showing our commitment to this issue so we hope the public will support us by being our eyes and ears and reporting it to us when they see people committing heritage crimes.”

Anyone concerned that a recent incident that damaged a historic asset took place is encouraged to call 101 to report the incident or do so via their local force’s website.