Representatives of the NFU and the CLA met with Surrey deputy chief constable Nev Kemp and the force’s rural policing team last week at Police headquarters in Guildford.
Talks about resources and new powers to tackle the scourge of hare coursing were relatively upbeat. The two organisations also promised to enlist the eyes and ears of their farmer and landowner members to help police gather intelligence.
CLA South East Regional Director Tim Bamford said: “It was good to hear Surrey Police is taking rural crime seriously, especially with the recruiting of a third dedicated rural officer supported by a wider team of PCSOs.
“We would remind all victims of rural crime to report each incident, to help the police build up a true picture of the problems in Surrey and then resource them accordingly.”
Surrey NFU chair Richard Keen of Etherley Farm, Ockley, near Dorking, was among those who attended the meeting. He said: “It is great news that Surrey Police is recruiting another rural police constable. The police do their best with the resources they have available and once again, we are urging all our members to report every incident, no matter how small, so that Surrey police can build up a picture of rural crime and the criminals behind it. If trends can be identified, then this helps decision-makers to build a case for greater resources. We urge all farmers to report crime and suspicious activity, ideally online – using the live chat function is relatively straightforward.”
If reporting by phone, callers should ring: 101 if reporting crime after the event or, if a crime is in progress, 999.
The meeting included debates on new powers to tackle livestock worrying and illegal encampments. There was also an in-depth discussion of crime statistics and an update on a private members’ bill to curb equipment theft.