Event sends strong rural crime message

30 Nov 2016 08:28 AM

Rural crime event [View Full Size]

A widespread determination ‘eradicate’ rural crime across Northumberland was the central message at a crime prevention event held at Hexham Mart by Northumbria Police, the NFU and NFU Mutual.

The event (held on November 18) focussed on measures farmers can take on-farm to deter would be criminals and ways that the farming community can work with the Police to tackle crime.

Northumbria Police were keen to stress the importance of reporting all crime, and the NFU’s ‘Report It Right’ campaign is still running. Farmers were reminded how valuable any local intelligence is in the fight against crime.

With Farmwatch going from strength to strength, the event offered another opportunity for farmers to sign up and take advantage of the free Farmwatch signs that are now available.

Superintendent Andy Huddleston said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners in not only highlighting the massive impact of rural crime in our communities but also the massive impact it has on the livelihood's of both the farmers and residents. Northumbria Police is absolutely committed to eradicating rural crime and we highly value the support of the farming community to help us achieve this.

“This event was a great opportunity for us to engage with the farming and rural community, provide crime prevention advice and discuss any rural crime issues one-to-one.”

“A successful Farmwatch scheme can make a massive difference – making sure there is a flow of information between local residents and the police,” said Samantha Charlton, NFU County Adviser for Northumberland and North Durham. “It also sends a strong message to the criminal fraternity that their activities will not go unnoticed.

“It is testimony to farmers’ determination to work with the police to stamp out rural crime that so many are already signed up to receive text and email alerts – but we could not miss the opportunity at Hexham to promote the scheme still further. It was also good to showcase the new farm signs that are now readily available either from the police or local NFU offices.”

With Basic Payment Scheme payments due before too long, farmers were also advised to be on their guard against a variety of scams that have been used by fraudsters to target farm businesses in particular.

Advice was provided on everything from cyber-crime to telephone scams, with farmers reminded that as more rural businesses use computers to conduct their daily business, they are increasingly being targeted.

Alongside this, demonstrations were provided by Selecta DNA using a farm quad bike. Other security measures on display were ground anchors and technical support on CCTV installation.