The NFU and the CLA have completed their round of annual police liaison meetings, meeting police chiefs for the Thames Valley and for Kent within the past 10 days.
Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood updated NFU and CLA representatives on the constabulary’s resources, its strategy for tackling rural crime and partnership working during an annual liaison meeting in Oxfordshire last week ( November 28). During the meeting at Sescut Farm, Woodeaton, hosted by Martin Brown, farmers and landowners heard how Thames Valley Police gathers intelligence from reports of rural crime and works with neighbouring police forces.
NFU South East Regional Director William White said: “The Chief Constable outlined the challenges he faces and the vital role that farmers and landowners can play in protecting themselves from becoming victims of crime. Despite ongoing funding pressures, the Chief committed to tackling rural crime by enabling the right response to be deployed in the right place at the right time. He confirmed that Thames Valley Police’s Delivery Plan still has rural policing at its heart.”
Farmer and landowner representatives of both organisations were present, from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The meeting featured a farm tour for police when aspects of on-farm security were discussed.
CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards said: “We appreciate that police have a range of significant pressures but we want to ensure that tackling rural crime such as fly-tipping, hare coursing and machinery theft remains a top priority, as it affects so many landowners and farmers. Thames Valley Police are a pro-active force and we look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future. We would urge all victims of crime to report incidents and not let them go unrecorded.”
Kent Police chief constable Alan Pughsley updated NFU and CLA representatives during an annual liaison meeting on November 30.
The meeting, which was split into two halves, began at police headquarters in Maidstone, moving to Saynden Farm, Staplehurst.
NFU South East Regional Director William White said: “The Chief Constable has listened to concerns from the rural community and, helped by Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, the force has now been given the necessary resources to deploy an additional six new rural police officers across the county. Kent Police faces huge challenges in this large and densely populated county. However, farmers and landowners recognise that they must take steps to protect themselves from becoming victims of crime and work more closely with police.”
Representatives of both organisations were present, with young farmers joining the meeting at Saynden Farm, Staplehurst. Here police heard first hand from host farmer Guy Eckley relating his experiences of rural crime, with a group discussion of on-farm security and the use of drones.