Farming Matters: Shut the gate on farm crime

Heather Jan Brunt - Farming Matters
Heather Jan Brunt - Farming Matters
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Rural crime is something which has affected most farms at one time or another.

The days of open yards, unlocked buildings and unattended vehicles belong to the distant past.

A policeman gives advice to a farmer during Operation Ranger

A policeman gives advice to a farmer during Operation Ranger

It’s a sad reflection of the times we live in but these days most farms are locked and padlocked, farmers carry chains of keys, vehicles are marked with hidden codes and CCTV cameras protect yards and buildings.

Farmers also rely on the goodwill, help and support of neighbours who alert them to unusual behaviour and trespassing strangers .

At a recent press briefing at Aylesbury police station, Commander Olly Wright and Chief Insp Emma Garside told me about Operation Ranger. This was a targeted, high profile campaign carried out earlier this month to address the issue of rural crime.

Officers visited 89 farms in the Vale to offer crime reduction tips and make face to face contact with farmers and their staff.

Chief Insp Garside said: “Aylesbury Vale is at the forefront of rural policing in Thames Valley. We wanted to raise awareness and visit as many farms as possible.

“We have two National Farmers Union offices in the Vale, in Aylesbury and Buckingham. We have regular contact with them and we have a representative from the farming community on our advisory group.”

Farmers can join Country Watch groups which are similar to Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Through this scheme farmers can sign up to Thames Valley Alert and receive text and/or email messages, tailoring them to areas which are of particular interest to them.