Approximately 72% of Essex is rural with 350, 000 residents, 22,500 businesses and 250,000 hectares of farmed land. People who live in isolated rural areas can feel particularly vulnerable, which makes it extremely important that we tackle rural crime, and the fear of crime, effectively.
The term “rural crime” can mean any type of crime that occurs in a rural location or where the victim is specifically targeted because of their connection to or involvement in the rural community, economy or area. We recognise that certain offences can have a significant impact in rural areas, and some can be specific to rural locations.
Offences can include:
Crimes involving farm equipment and livestock.
Crimes against small rural businesses.
Wildlife crime, such as the illegal taking or trapping of animals or birds.
Hare Coursing – causing damage to farm crops, livestock, perimeters, as well as to the hares.
Fly-tipping – Industrial scale fly tips left on land that the landowners have to dispose of.
Serious and organised crime: remote locations can be attractive for organised crime groups.
Farm and rural watch
Farm and rural watch is a free Essex Police led Watch scheme focusing on rural and farming issues, and is aimed at farmers, rurally located businesses and organisations, people involved in rural pursuits and local residents in isolated or sparsely populated rural locations.
Farm and rural watch does not replace Neighbourhood Watch in rural communities but compliments any such schemes with more targeted and in some cases additional information.
The aims of the scheme are:
To improve communication between the rural and farming community and the police.
To encourage rural communities to undertake appropriate crime prevention measures.
To reduce opportunities for crime to occur in farming and rural communities.
To encourage everyone to report crimes and suspicious activity as soon as possible.
To strengthen community spirit, so that everyone works together to protect their property.
To provide Farm Watch signs to deter criminals and anti-social behaviour. Participating in a Watch scheme can increase feelings of safety and security in rural areas, enhance the prevention and detection of crime, and help us to bring offenders to justice and recover stolen property.
What we do
Liaise with farm and rural watch members through a dedicated Essex Watch Liaison Officer (EWLO).
Provide members with targeted information in relation to farm / rural crimes.
Provide advice regarding security measures.
Inform members of relevant news and events.
Engage with farmers and rural partners and agencies through organised meetings where required.
Work with key partners, the community and neighbouring forces to tackle rural crime
Joining farm and rural watch
If you'd like more information about our farm and rural watch scheme, or to register your interest, please contact us.