Rural crime conference planned for county

Paddy Tipping campaigning to re-open the custody suite at Worksop Police Station  (w121108-7b)
Paddy Tipping campaigning to re-open the custody suite at Worksop Police Station (w121108-7b)

Rural crime is to come under the spotlight at a rural crime conference co-hosted by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping and the county’s Crimestoppers.

Taking place at Newark Showground on 12th and 13th November, it is the second conference to be held with a view to raising awareness of rural crime, including plant and machinery theft, and how it can best be tackled.

Mr Tipping (pictured) said: “Rural theft costs many millions of pounds in the UK every year, leading to loss of farming business and an adverse impact on our communities’ purses through increased costs. In 2012 alone, it was calculated to cost the UK over £42m.

“We are hosting this conference to help learn more from our rural communities about their key concerns. What they say can then be used to build a positive policing and partnership approach for tackling and preventing the theft not only of valuable equipment and metal but also of livestock.”

The event is taking place alongside the Midlands Machinery Show – a platform for the small and medium sized agricultural businesses who wish to show their diverse range of machinery and innovation to those who work in, and have an interest in, agriculture.

Bruce Cameron, chair of Nottinghamshire Crimestoppers, said: “Rural crime affects all our lives through increased food production costs. The charity Crimestoppers is pleased to support the police and crime commissioner, county council and police in fighting these crimes.”

The conference forms part of an ongoing rural and serious organised crime campaign, following last year’s successful event that provided a forum for rural communities to discuss rural crime concerns and raise awareness of what’s going on.

Organisations attending this year will include NFU and rural communities, Nottinghamshire Police, Neighbourhood Watch, the Environment Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.

Det Chf Insp Caroline Racher added: “We recognise that crime committed in rural communities can have a significant impact on victims. The economic losses caused by theft of property can have far reaching consequences for individuals, businesses and the economy.

“Rural crime is not just confined to agricultural thefts but encompasses a range of offences, from house burglaries to crimes against wildlife and listed buildings. Theft and damage to churches, castles, museums and stately homes not only results in counting a financial cost, but also the cost of losing a piece of our heritage forever.

“We want to ensure that all stakeholders work together to make a positive impact in this vital area. We have already made significant progress in tackling these issues but acknowledge that there is still more we can all do.

“The gathering of intelligence and information is crucial. We can’t been everywhere at once so we rely on local residents and business owners to be the eyes and ears of their, often remote, communities.”

To report unusual or suspicious activity, contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.