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Rural and wildlife crime discussed as part of National Farm Safety week

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Farm Safety Week is upon us and with the National Farmers Union (NFU) supporting the campaign to get more farmers focused on staying safe, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens met with local NFU members to discuss rural and wildlife crime.

Local farmers and agriculturalists from across Somerset, on Monday July 16, came to Police and Fire HQ to find out more about how rural and wildlife crime continues to be tackled by the Constabulary and to put their questions to the PCC.

Questions posed to the PCC during the meeting included those on poaching, fly tipping and visible policing in rural areas. Following the meeting with the PCC and members of the Constabulary Rural and Wildlife Crime Unit, attendees were then taken on a tour of the communications centre where ‘101’ and ‘999’ calls are taken.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I welcome the opportunity to meet with residents across the urban and rural communities of Avon and Somerset and hear about their policing concerns.  I take on board all of the information shared with me by the NFU and understand how frustrating it must be those who have had their livelihoods destroyed by crime.

“I can only imagine what it is like to have livestock poached; tools and machinery taken or land vandalised by criminals. I am fully aware that rural and wildlife crime is a concern amongst many people and I will do what I can, working closely with the Constabulary’s Rural and Wildlife Crime Unit, to ensure we target those who seek to ruin our countryside.”

During the meeting, attendees discussed the new ‘Rural Crime Reporting Line’ launched by the NFU and Crimestoppers earlier in the month, as another means of reporting crime anonymously and helping build better intelligence on rural crime.

PCC Sue Mountstevens also spoke of her support for Farm Safety Week, encouraging farmers to not only be cautious of physical injuries, but also consider their mental health: “My number one priority in the Police and Crime Plan is protecting the most vulnerable from harm and anyone suffering from mental health illness is vulnerable. Most people don’t consider their mental health, let alone farmers who work so hard day in day out and sadly the number of agricultural workers suffering with mental health illnesses is staggering.

“If Farm Safety Week alerts even one farmer to the issues of mental and physical health, then it will be a success.”

To find out more about the new rural crime reporting line or farm safety week, please visit the NFU website here: www.nfuonline.com/home/

Posted on Thursday 19th July 2018
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