Avon and Somerset Police have launched a new Rural Crime Community Intelligence Campaign at an event in Somerton.
The campaign is being run jointly with the independent charity Crimestoppers with the aim of encouraging people to provide information in the fight against livestock theft.
The event took place on February 22, 2017 at 8 Edgar Hall, Cary Court, Somerton, TA11 6SB. Members of the farming community and industry media were invited, alongside anyone living or working in our rural communities.
Members of the Rural Crime Team provided an update on their work to date to tackle livestock theft in Somerset, gave crime prevention advice and outlined what information they ideally needed from the public. Gordon Chisholm (Regional Manager for Crimestoppers South West) added how Crimestoppers can help tackle rural crime. This was then followed by a Q&A with the team, who took questions from the floor.
Inspector Jo Mines, who currently leads the Rural Crime Team, said: “Livestock theft and rural crime in general, affects the livelihoods of farmers, smallholders and rural businesses.
“We are asking rural communities to help us by providing information and intelligence about suspected crime in their area. We know not everyone is comfortable having contact with us, but in that instance please do get in touch with Crimestoppers if you have information that can help.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said “Rural crime has a significant impact on the livelihoods of our farmers and this is not acceptable. The police are listening, learning and building up real expertise in this area. However, they cannot do it on their own. We need to work together to help fight rural crime.”
Gordon Chisholm said: “Many people think that we are part of the police or a TV programme but we are neither, we are an independent charity, which allows anyone to pass on information about crime anonymously.
“We cannot trace or record any call and we never ask for your name or where you live, no one will ever know where the information came from and you could qualify for a reward of up to £1,000 if your information leads to an arrest and charge.”
Gordon also added: “Local people know how rural crime and livestock theft can impact on local farms but people can make a difference, as they often know who is committing crime in their area. So if you can’t come along to the event, but you think you might have information that could help then please get in touch with either the police or Crimestoppers in the future.”
How can you get in touch?
•Pass on information at: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk
•Call us on 101 for non-emergencies
•Text the Rural Crime Team on 81819 (please note this number will change to 07492 888109 at the end of March)
•Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111
•Or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
•Always dial 999 if a crime is in progress or someone is in danger
Posted on Thursday 23rd February 2017