Farmers and rural business owners have met with leading police and council representatives to share experiences of rural crime and discuss means of tackling it.
The North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) event on Monday 16 April was supported by Leicestershire Police and saw more than 30 members of rural communities attend, many of them farmers.
Rural crime is one of three priorities for the Safer North West Partnership in 2018/19.
The workshop was held to combat any feeling of isolation felt in rural areas, especially in light of recent farm vehicle thefts which have then been used in ATM raids. Crimes such as fly-tipping, metal theft and fuel thefts were also high on the agenda, with the council and police offering tips and advice on preventative measures that can be used.
- Always secure your perimeter and lock gates where possible.
- Remove keys from vehicles and hide equipment out of view – particularly small and easy to steal items like chainsaws, pressure washers and horse tack.
- Consider using security lights, beam breakers or CCTV.
- Build relationships and share information with your neighbours. Messaging groups on phones can be great way of communicating with each other.
Feedback was also welcomed from attendees about perceptions of how crime is dealt with, and where they feel the response to rural crime might be improved.
The workshop was held just days after three men were sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for their part in a string of attacks on ATMs across Leicestershire and neighbouring counties.
Speakers at the event on Monday 16 April included:
- Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole
- Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach
- Robert Cross, Rural Crime Lead at Leicestershire Police
- Simon Fisher, County Advisor for the National Farmers’ Union
Chris Brown, Safer and Stronger Communities Team Leader at NWLDC said: “The community Safety Partnership has rural crime a priority this year and this was a great opportunity to speak directly to those affected by it, hear what they need, so we can respond and improve the way we work.
“Crimes like the ATM raids and fly-tipping are hot topics at the moment but we want people to be assured that in partnership with the police and other authorities we are engaging with those affected, and are determined to bring about a reduction in these types of crimes.”
PC Rob Cross from the Market Bosworth beat team said – “We were really pleased to see such a high number of people at the event. It shows that people want to feed back to police and want to do something about emerging crimes and issues in their local area.
“One of the topics of conversation was the reporting mechanism for rural crime and I would really urge people to report non-emergency incidents to 101 so that we can map patterns of offending and emerging threats.”