Rural crime is to come under the spotlight at a Rural Crime Conference co-hosted by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping and the county’s Crimestoppers.
Taking place at Newark Showground on 12-13 November, it is the second conference to be held with a view to raising awareness of rural crime, including plant and machinery theft, and how it can best be tackled.
Commissioner Tipping commented: “Rural theft costs many millions of pounds in the UK every year, leading to loss of farming business and an adverse impact on our communities’ purses through increased costs. In 2012 alone, it was calculated to cost the UK over £42million.
“We are hosting this conference to help learn more from our rural communities about their key concerns. What they say can then be used to build a positive policing and partnership approach for tackling and preventing the theft not only of valuable equipment and metal but also of livestock.”
The event is taking place alongside the Midlands Machinery Show – a platform for the small and medium sized agricultural businesses who wish to show their diverse range of machinery and innovation to those who work in, and have an interest in, agriculture.
Mr Tipping hopes that face-to-face engagement between partners and those at the ‘sharp end’ will point to how best to deal with rural crime and provide local support. ”We need to work together in every way we can, including encouraging members of the public to report suspicious activities to the police,” he said.
Committed to working in partnership to protect local natural environments with a particular focus on wildlife and rural crime, he also stresses the importance of tackling criminals who inflict damage on treasured historic buildings and churches through the theft of lead.
The conference forms part of an ongoing rural and serious organised crime campaign, following last year’s successful event that provided a forum for rural communities to discuss rural crime concerns and raise awareness of what’s going on. Organisations attending this year will include NFU and rural communities, Nottinghamshire Police, Neighbourhood Watch, the Environment Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.
Bruce Cameron, Chair of the Nottinghamshire Crimestoppers Committee, said: “Rural Crime affects all our lives through increased food production costs. The charity Crimestoppers is pleased to support the Police and Crime Commissioner, County Council and Police in fighting these crimes.
“We provide a means for the public to provide information anonymously through our 24-hour number 0800 555 111 or our Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. With the public’s support, we can help the police protect our communities and catch the criminals who commit and profit from rural crime.”
Councillor Alice Grice, Vice-Chairman of the Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and Crimestoppers, the County Council has funded a number of crime prevention initiatives in our rural communities. Work has included property marking, signage in rural communities to increase reporting rates and an improved sharing of intelligence through text alerts.
“The rural crime conference, which was also held last year, plays an important part in this work. It’s vital we get the message out about the support that’s available to crack crime in rural communities, listen to the concerns of residents and businesses and build on the excellent partnership work already taking place.”
Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Racher added: “We recognise that crime committed in rural communities can have a significant impact on victims. The economic losses caused by theft of property can have far reaching consequences for individuals, businesses and the economy.
“Rural crime is not just confined to agricultural thefts but encompasses a range of offences, from house burglaries to crimes against wildlife and listed buildings. Theft and damage to churches, castles, museums and stately homes not only results in counting a financial cost, but also the cost of losing a piece of our heritage forever.
“We want to ensure that all stakeholders work together to make a positive impact in this vital area. We have already made significant progress in tackling these issues but acknowledge that there is still more we can all do.
“The gathering of intelligence and information is crucial. We can’t been everywhere at once so we rely on local residents and business owners to be the eyes and ears of their, often remote, communities.
“Contact us on 101 to report unusual or suspicious activity in your neighbourhood. Otherwise call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 5th November 2014