RURAL insurer NFU Mutual has announced the return of its annual country crime fighters awards.

With a cash fund of up to £1,500 available, the awards will help to recognise and celebrate unsung rural heroes by providing them with financial and practical support to help fund anti-crime initiatives.

All people have to do is visit and tell the insurer in 300 words or fewer why they or their community group deserve to win an award and how they have helped to reduce crime in their local area.

The rural insurer has introduced new categories to attract an even more widespread audience of people who dedicate their time to reducing rural crime in their local communities.

The categories for 2014 are:

* Crime Prevention through Social Media.

* Equestrian Crime Prevention.

* Farm Crime Prevention.

* Local Community Crime Prevention.

* Wildlife Crime Prevention.

* Rural Business Crime Prevention.

* Crime Prevention through Technology.

The Country Crime Fighters Awards 2014 aims to engage with rural communities as people nominate themselves or their community group for an award.

Following successful nomination, regional winners will compete for a place in the final and be invited to attend the awards ceremony in London with the chance to be crowned national winner.

Judges include Rural Services Network officer Nick Payne.

Mr Payne said: "Rural crime damages the livelihoods of everyone who resides and works in the countryside. It's a blight that we all have to stand up to.

"I am privileged to judge this year's entrants and I look forward to reviewing the high calibre of projects and initiatives that help to keep our countryside safe."

"The winner will also receive a trophy and a cheque for £1,500. Regional winners will receive a trophy and £500."

Nominations can be submitted online at the Country Crime Fighters webpage and close on August 11.

To enter online or to download a rural crime toolkit visit