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Ollerton farm set for enhanced security to tackle rural crime

David Elms assesses Kingstand Farm alongside Martin Robinson

David Elms assesses Kingstand Farm alongside Martin Robinson

A farm in Ollerton that has been targeted by several break-ins is set to benefit from free security upgrades­ – as part of a rural crime-busting scheme funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Almost £100,000 worth of property has been stolen from Kingstand Farm in Ollerton in recent months which has significantly impacted the running of the business.

Thieves got away with a Land Rover Defender, as well as four quadbikes, a motorbike and a large amount of oil.

Farm owner Martin Robinson, who lives on the farm with his family, explained that the damage goes much deeper than the monetary value, having endured several sleepless nights worrying about further thefts taking place.

Speaking during National Rural Crime Action Week, he said: “Rural crime is incredibly damaging. We’re talking tens of thousands of pounds worth of loss but it goes beyond that because it affects my ability to do business every day.

“Having the land assessed for new security measures is very reassuring for me and my family and means we can now rest easy when our days work is done.

“It will allow us to get back on our feet and move forward as a business without the worry of being broken into.”

Action is being taken after Rural Crime Prevention Officer David Elms visited the site to assess the areas most in need of extra safety measures.

David was appointed earlier this year, and has since been getting to work evaluating the needs of rural crime victims and implementing a range of security measures to make it more difficult for criminals to reoffend.

The £200,000 project – funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire’s Safer4All fund – aims to help secure rural homes and businesses across the Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood districts, which include some of the biggest rural spaces in the county.

Nottinghamshire Police is delivering the initiative with support from partners at Bassetlaw District Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council.

The funding builds on Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry’s commitment to tackling rural crime as part of the Make Notts Safe policing plan, which has also seen investment allowing the force to purchase a two 4x4 rural crime vehicles, as well as thermal imaging goggles to help officers spot suspects in unlit rural areas at night-time.

Additional funding has also allowed officers across the force to undertake more training surrounding rural crime. This includes national rural crime training for beat officers, farm awareness and health and safety training and five new rural crime points of contact within the control room.

Call handlers and dispatchers are also given additional training by the National Farmers’ Union to help them better understand and respond to the unique impact that rural crime can have when they assess the threat, risk and harm caused by the incident being reported.

There are now 48 police constables and PCSOs across the force who have access to this specialist equipment, resources, and training to increase awareness and ensure a better service for victims in their areas.

Surveys by the National Farmers’ Union have proven that all this extra resource is working and providing better reassurance. Farmers in Nottinghamshire are now 40% more likely to make a complaint if they are victims of crime, and that they feel much more comfortable in doing so.

Commissioner Henry said: “Rural crime is a huge issue which affects our most vulnerable and isolated communities in Nottinghamshire, and leaves lasting damage on its victims.

“Criminals targeting these locations may think that the only damage done is the cost of the things they are taking, but these are people’s livelihoods that are being tampered with.

“The appointment of David Elms and the funding to provide extra security measures to homes and buildings is designed to make our rural communities and the people living within them feel safer.”

The National Farmers’ Union’s Mutual National Crime Report 2023 ‘Countryside Unites against Rural Crime’ estimated that the cost of rural crime was £49.5 million. This marked a 22.1% increase in the cost of rural crime in 2022.

Rural Crime Prevention Officer David Elms said: “People often link burglary to the monetary value involved, but we know it’s about more than that. It’s the impact it has on the farmer and their families in relation to somebody being on his property committing these offences.

“Many of the farms we visit are rural and isolated, which makes them very vulnerable especially when they are raising young families in these locations.

“It gives confidence to the rural community and sends a message that we are listening and trying to help in any way we can.”

Superintendent Claire Rukas, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Werecognise the impact which rural crime has on our communities which is why the force works so closely with its partners to tackle this issue.

“We continue to engage with farmers, landowners, and rural communities to share crime prevention advice, provide reassurance, and increase awareness of issues.

“We also carry out a range of enforcement action, including ongoing and long-running operations, to protect our rural communities and tackle issues such as burglary, theft, illegal off-road biking, antisocial behaviour, speeding on rural roads, fly-tipping, and illegal hunting and poaching.

“The crime-fighting activity we are carrying out during National Rural Crime Action Week is just a snapshot of the work we are doing all year round to target and reduce rural crime and I want to reassure people that we will continue to use a mixture of engagement, education, and enforcement to drive down these types of crimes and ensure issues have as little impact as possible on our rural communities.”

Posted on Wednesday 20th September 2023
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