Rural Crime Awareness Day to be held in Rettendon
Essex Police and the farming community are holding a Rural Crime
Awareness Day in Rettendon on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 and everyone
is welcome to attend to learn how to protect their land and
property from criminals.
The event is strongly supported by local farmers and members of
the rural community, and was originally suggested at a meeting of
the Chelmsford Farm Watch Group. Sgt Jan Bloomfield, Crime
Reduction Officer Trisha Staerck and Essex Watch Liaison Officer
Brenda Cross have worked closely with partners in the local
community, and the event will feature expert advice from a range of
specialists on combating rural crime.
Typical rural crimes include:
- theft of metal and tools
- theft of diesel and oil
- theft of machinery and plant
- theft of quadbikes
- theft of batteries
The Rural Crime Awareness Day will be held from 10am and
2pm at Highlands Farm, Southend Road, Rettendon CM3
A key part of the fight against rural crime is Farm Watch.
Chief Inspector Steve Ditchburn, Chelmsford & Maldon
District Commander, said: "We're privileged in having some
beautiful countryside in Essex, with very strong rural and farming
communities. Rural crime is comparatively low, but it presents its
own particular challenges. By keeping communities talking and
making everyone aware of the best means of preventing crime, we can
reduce the opportunities for criminals and increase our chances of
bringing offenders to justice.
"Essex Police has a very strong Farm Watch scheme, which is a
central part of our strategy for keeping our countryside safe. We
are able to circulate important information directly to Farm Watch
members via text and email, and I would encourage all farmers in
Essex to join the scheme."
Brenda Cross, Essex Watch Liaison Officer for the Chelmsford,
Braintree and Maldon districts, agrees: "Those persons who enter
farm land to commit crime within Essex are not welcome and they
should be aware that they will be watched and reported.
"Farm Watch schemes have been in operation in parts of Essex for
some years, and the schemes now extend across the county. Essex
Police work in partnership with the rural farming community,
providing crime reduction advice, regular updates and local alerts
by farmers email families.
"Suspicious persons who visit farms are noted by all farmers who
are part of the group and this information is shared with the
police. This information is then disseminated to all farmers who
have registered with Farm Watch across Essex, and is also passed to
neighbouring forces. Intelligence that is received has resulted in
arrests being made. Essex Police has many resources on hand to deal
with rural crime including the police helicopter.
"Through working in partnership, the scheme encourages everyone
in the farming community to be extra vigilant and report anything
suspicious to the police. "
The farming community is highly enthusiastic about the
Patrick Wreathall, Chairman of the Chelmsford Farm Watch Group,
adds: "This day will be a wonderful opportunity to bring together
the farming community, along with the agricultural dealers who have
pledged their support for this event. It is also an opportunity for
the crime prevention people, namely the police, to meet farmers and
discuss the problems that both sides face regarding rural
"As Chairman of the Chelmsford Farm Watch group I have been very
impressed with the attitude of the police, but it is impossible for
them to react without farmers reporting back to them. Hopefully
this open day will help all parties to combat rural crime.”
Robert Stacey of the National Farmers Union adds: "Rural crime
is costing millions of pounds every year whether it be metal, fuel,
machinery or just burglaries it effects us all. So I hope that
those who attend the event will not only find it interesting they
will also pick up some ideas to help make their property more
secure. Thank you to Essex Police, especially Brenda Cross, for
organising the day and to David and Janice Chennells for hosting
Many of Essex Police’s crime fighting experts, the Crime
Reduction Officers, will be on hand at the event to provide
Trisha Staerck, Crime Reduction Officer for Chelmsford and
Maldon districts, said: "The event will raise awareness in respect
to farm security and aims to reduce opportunities for criminals.
Farm property is typically spread over many acres, and the event
will give an excellent opportunity to inform the farming community
about security devices that are available to protect their
properties and equipment.
"The advice will be about taking proactive security measures and
avoid becoming a victim of crime. There will be an opportunity to
find out about property marking and to sign up to Essex Police Farm