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Deputy PCC listens to rural voices on Community Day

Deputy PCC John Smith visited local farmers and rangers in Somerset to find out more about police and crime issues in our rural communities.

The impact of rural crime and the challenges of policing the Somerset countryside were illustrated to the Deputy PCC during his latest community day in the area, with his first meeting taking place with a group of local farmers near Langport.

Accompanied by Avon and Somerset Police Rural Crime Team, the Deputy PCC listened to local farmers as they shared their concerns regarding hare coursing, poaching and feelings of intimidation from criminals.

The Team have been working closely with local landowners in attempt to combat such devastating rural crimes. The team continue to encourage local people to report any criminal activity, theft or threats, to the police.

“If you’ve been affected by rural crime, please do report to the police, this helps them to make up a better picture of rural crime taking place in the area.

“Having spoken to the Rural Crime Team, I know that local officers are doing all they can to target prolific offenders of rural crime to keep local people feeling safe.”

Deputy PCC John Smith

The Deputy PCC also met with Owen Jones and fellow rangers from the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

During the visit, they discussed crime prevention, the need to reassure rural communities, intimidation and how technology can be used to disrupt criminal activity.

“Farms and open rural spaces offer opportunities for criminals. We must reduce these opportunities and work with local residents to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place. It has a huge victim impact, the cost of machinery is vast as well as the disruption to farming.

“We’re asking the public to act as our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to us on 101 or if a crime is in progress by calling 999.”

Superintendent Mike Prior, Force Lead for Rural Crime at Avon and Somerset Police

You can join Community Watch Schemes to deter rural crime in your area. Find out more about: