Sussex Police has held discussions with the NFU and the CLA on the continuing challenge of tackling rural crime in partnership with farmers and landowners.
Sussex Police chief constable Giles York talked representatives of the two organisations through the constabulary’s staff resources, the force’s approach to tackling rural crime and its new rural policing strategy. They also discussed solutions to specific types of rural crime during an annual liaison meeting on a West Sussex farm last week (on September 19).
The meeting took place at Chaites Farm, Bolney, near Haywards Heath, courtesy of sheep and arable farmer Rob Seward.
NFU South East Regional Director William White said: “We hadn’t seen the chief constable as upbeat about tackling rural crime for a number of years. He described the Government’s decision to allow increased precept funding as ‘a game-changer’. This means a net growth of 200 officers over the next four years.
“The Sussex Police rural crime strategy is different from those of other forces in that it seeks to embed a knowledge of rural crime in every officer on the force. Sussex comprises two rural counties, so the new strategy appears to make good sense.”
Farmer and landowner representatives of both organisations were present, from East Sussex and West Sussex. All saw a demonstration of DNA asset marking to deter machinery and equipment theft.
CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards said: “The CLA welcomes the introduction of the Rural Policing Strategy and the commitment by the Chief Constable to give specific rural and wildlife training to more than 800 officers over four years.
“We appreciate that police have a range of significant pressures but we want to ensure that tackling rural crime remains a top priority. We look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future.”
The meeting included a discussion on livestock worrying, and incursions by travellers. Police were also updated on agricultural policy and the economic outlook during the tour of Chaites Farm.