The Wokingham Paper

Farmers work with Thames Valley Police to tackle rural crime

Thames Valley Police meeting

TO HELP farmers in the fight against rural crime, Thames Valley Police recently met with two groups to spread the word about working together.

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood updated representatives from NFU (National Farmers’ Union) and the CLA, an organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.

He talked about on the constabulary’s resources, its strategy for tackling rural crime and partnership working during an annual liaison meeting in Oxfordshire at the end of November. 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 from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire atended. 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.”

The meeting included a discussion on continuing issues arising from traveller encampments and incursions, farm security and thefts of high value tools and machinery. Police received an update on agricultural policy and the economic outlook during the tour of Sescut Farm.

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