The CLA held a meeting with Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden. CLA members gathered at a farm near Lancashire to air concerns about rural crime and hear from the Commissioner about plans to tackle the problems.
The event, supported by Lancashire’s Rural Crime Unit, was attended by various CLA representatives, including farmers and rural businesses from the surrounding area.
Discussions covered various related issues and included: machinery and fuel theft; tackling illegal hare coursing and associated legislative changes; organised crime; and fly-tipping. In addition, the CLA also discussed the training of 101 / 999 call handlers and police officers across Lancashire.
There was positive news on the extended coverage of rural policing teams across Lancashire and the promise of a new rural inspector for the force.
A year ago, new rural task force teams across Lancashire (based at based at Morecambe, Garstang, Ormskirk, Clitheroe and Waterfoot) were introduced to proactively tackle various types of rural crime in the surrounding areas.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: "I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with the Country Landowners Association and members of our rural communities to discuss local issues and concerns.
"Our rural task forces are already making huge strides in tackling issues such as wildlife crime and trespassing as well as the theft of machinery with over £1m worth of stolen plant and machinery already recovered this year.
"I will continue to invest in rural policing, with an additional £700k from next year's budget going towards tackling rural crime and I will work closely with the Constabulary to ensure they have the skills and resources needed to tackle rural crime and to keep the people who live and work in our beautiful countryside safe."
CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas said: “It was a positive meeting which highlighted the very real impact crime has on rural businesses and communities across Lancashire.
“Work undertaken by Lancashire’s Rural Crime Unit is exemplary, especially given the vast area that they cover. The CLA is committed to working with our partners, and we urge farmers, businesses and the wider public to report all incidents so that police can build up a more complete picture and then allocate appropriate resources.”
CLA North Rural Adviser Libby Bateman said: “We’re grateful of the opportunity to meet Mr Snowden and discuss some of the challenges farmers, landowners and rural businesses face on a regular basis.
“It was useful to hear how new powers to tackle the problem of hare coursing will be rolled out across the rural policing teams, alongside the challenges associated with anti-social behaviour in the countryside, such as livestock worrying and trespass.
“We regularly work with police forces across the North (Lancashire; Cumbria; North East & Yorkshire), having supported various campaigns on, for instance, hare coursing and fly-tipping.”
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