Magistrates grasp crime impacts

First published: 26 May 2022

Former West Sussex NFU chair Mark Chandler, Sussex Police Inspector Oli Fisher,  Livia Brynin (organiser), Chief Inspector Steve Biglands, and NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham.

Former West Sussex NFU chair Mark Chandler, Sussex Police Inspector Oli Fisher,  Livia Brynin (organiser), Chief Inspector Steve Biglands, and NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham.

The NFU has taken a leading role in helping members of the Magistrates’ Association to recognise the impacts of rural crime and the need for appropriate penalties.

On 21 May, the NFU addressed a group of more than 40 magistrates and police about the effects of rural crime on farm businesses, and the proceedings of the meeting in East Sussex were live-streamed to all 54 branches of the Magistrates’ Association.

The NFU was represented at the event in Eastbourne by its chief land management adviser Sam Durham and former West Sussex NFU chair Mark Chandler, from Petworth.

NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham said: “We were delighted to take part and not only was the meeting live-streamed to all 54 branches of the Magistrates Association, but it was also recorded and will be available on the Association’s website.

“The NFU believes that rural crime can be tackled more effectively by a coordinated approach from all areas of the criminal justice system - government, the police and the courts. The NFU has achieved some success in working closely with a number of police forces and in lobbying government for changes to legislation. However, raising awareness with magistrates of the impacts of rural crime on farm businesses and rural communities is an important part of the jigsaw. It was fantastic to get this opportunity.”

The audience included Jane King, the High Sheriff of East Sussex.

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