Farmers invited to police’s rural crime conference

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MEMBERS of the farming community have been invited to a special conference aimed at combating rural vehicle crime.

Lancashire Constabulary is holding the event at its Hutton headquarters on Thursday from 9-45 a.m. to 3 p.m., to provide farmers and agricultural workers with the advice and expertise to protect themselves from becoming a victim of crime.

The free event, sponsored by TRACKER Network UK and Data Tag and held in connection with NFU Mutual, will look at the national picture in relation to rural crime and focus on the issues affecting Lancashire.

Those in attendance will learn what thieves look for when targeting a property – particularly for agricultural vehicles and plant machinery – and the measures they can take to avoid this, as well as viewing the latest security products available.

They will also be encouraged to work with the police, through initiatives like Farm Watch and Rural Watch, to identify, disrupt and prevent criminals targeting Lancashire’s countryside.

Lancashire Police Det Sgt Simon Ingham said: “The most common type of offences in our rural communities include fuel and scrap metal theft, as well as the theft of agricultural machinery and vehicles.

“Due to the remote locations of many rural properties, residents and workers can often be complacent and develop a false sense of security – so crime prevention is not always their top focus. Thieves know this, and are aware there is less chance they will be seen as they carry out criminal activity. The subsequent crimes can be very costly for the victims, affecting them not just personally but also having financial implications that can affect their livelihoods.”

He added: “The intention of this conference is to highlight issues that could affect those living and working in rural areas, offer advice on how to avoid falling victim to crime and to provide reassurance to our rural communities that we are committed to preventing and detecting these offences.

“Countryside crime is low in Lancashire and we want it to remain that way. We will continue to target offenders, with the help of our rural residents and workers – who we would ask to report suspicious activity to us.”

Places to attend the conference are limited so contact Shelby Williams via shelby.williams@lancashire.pnn.police.uk or by calling 01772 412846.