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Farms and other rurally-based businesses were brought together with the security industry to help battle crime in the countryside. An East Midlands-wide event, on June 29 at the John Deere Centre, in Langar, Nottinghamshire, was a joint initiative put together by the region’s police forces.
In the past year (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012), there were 518 thefts and non-dwelling burglaries at farms in Nottinghamshire alone, compared to 443 the previous year. However, it is an issue for all forces in the East Midlands, police say.
While Nottinghamshire were hosts Lincolnshire Police has created a crime prevention DVD tailored for rural firms, which will be shown at the event. Leicestershire Police has secured funding from the Melton Safer Partnership to distribute copies to all 1,000 farms in the borough of Melton Mowbray.
The event was an opportunity for farmers and rural business owners to meet security industry representatives and to look at solutions which can reduce crime against their properties.
Steve Walsh, one of Nottinghamshire’s Pre-Crime managers, said: “Farms and other rural enterprise are particularly vulnerable to crimes such as theft, and that is often because it is so difficult to protect the perimeter of such large areas of land.
“They usually own multiple buildings, which all have to be secured, and they commonly have expensive plant vehicles and other machinery, and store the fuel used to power those vehicles.
“Power and communications lines have become an increasingly popular, if highly dangerous, source of metal for thieves who often select remote farmland to carry out their crimes. In some areas, poaching is still an issue for farmers.
“For those sorts of reasons, we and our colleagues across the East Midlands have decided to bring together representatives from the security industry, the police, local farmers and other business people to discuss the ways in which they can better protect their premises, equipment and stock from crime.”