LANDOWNERS, farmers and businesses across Devon and Cornwall are joining forces with the police to host two major events aimed at combating rural crime.
The events, titled ‘Preventing Crime in Rural Communities' take place in February and bring together representatives of the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers’ Union and Devon and Cornwall Police, along with experts from private security firms and specialist equipment suppliers who will all be looking at the ways and means of preventing crime in rural communities.
Rural crime costs millions of pounds of year and impacts on police resources and insurance premiums, which makes reducing rural crime a key policy area for both police and representative organisations.
The events, which are sponsored by lawyers, Foot Anstey and the NFU Mutual, will take place at Westpoint, Exeter on 1 February and at the Pavilion at the Royal Cornwall show ground, Wadebridge, on 15 February. Both are free of charge and will offer a one-stop- shop style advisory service as well as an exhibition and trade stands, all focused on crime prevention.
Seminars will operate on a drop in basis, with sessions throughout the day examining different aspects of the law and the whole range of rural crime from farm and estate security to wildlife and equestrian crime. One focus of the day will be to look at whether individuals and businesses are doing all they can to reduce opportunities for criminals.
Bob Bunney, crime reduction advisor with Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We are very keen to help people understand how to take control of the situation, to learn exactly how much they can do themselves to help reduce rural crime and then to offer clear information about how to act and who to contact.”
There will be a keynote speech from assistant chief constable Paul Netherton, who will talk about the reality of rural policing and the options for the future. There will also been talks by CLA South West director, John Mortimer, and from the NFU vice president, Adam Quinney.
Mr Mortimer said: “We welcome this opportunity of working with the NFU and Devon and Cornwall police to highlight the growing menace of rural crime – and to explore ways of combating it.
“What is frequently not understood is that the true cost of farm theft and other rural crime is more than simply the value of the items taken. There is the cost of lost production time, of repairing the damage caused, plus the risk of livestock straying due to gates being left open or fencing taken down.
“This event offers a real opportunity to improve awareness of the opportunities to reduce crime and to help the police engage with CLA and NFU members - and the wider rural community - in a drive to improve communications and deliver a service that meets expectations."
To reserve a place at either of the events, contact the CLA South West Office on 01249 700281 or online at www.regonline.co.uk/claswevents