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Events to support national rural crime day in Shropshire and Telford

People from across Shropshire and Telford are invited to join West Mercia Police at crime prevention advice events being held to coincide with National Rural Crime Day.

We Don't Buy Crime

This year National Rural Crime Day is Thursday 8 November, when police will be hosting two events to support rural communities, including farmers and those who work in agriculture.

The first drop-in advice event will run from 8am to 12.30pm at Harper Adams University, near Newport in Telford & Wrekin. It will be followed by a similar event held from 2pm to 4pm at Walford College in Shrewsbury.

Organisations that play a vital role in crime prevention will be on hand at both events to offer advice, including specialists from West Mercia Police such as designing out crime officers, wildlife crime officers and officers from the We Don't Buy Crime team.

Harper Adams University rural crime researcher, Dr Kreseda Smith, welcomed planned events, saying: "Having conducted research addressing some of the key behavioural barriers to farmers using effective crime prevention measures, I know that police engagement with rural communities is essential. As such Harper Adams is pleased to host one of the Rural Crime Events in conjunction with West Mercia police and I look forward to being able to having useful discussions with those who attend."

Smartwater Technology will also be on hand as part of its partnership with West Mercia Police under the We Don't Buy Crime initiative, funded by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

Throughout the West Mercia Police area, residents of towns and villages have signed up to support We Don't Buy Crime and to advertise their involvement to would-be thieves. The initiative has proven to act as an effective deterrent and had a significant impact on reducing crime.

Superintendent Tom Harding leads the initiative for the force. He said: "There is no doubt that policing the vast rural areas we have across our counties offers unique challenges and we're constantly looking at new and innovative ways in which we can make sure our communities are even safer.

"We're increasingly seeing thieves use more sophisticated methods and it's important to us that our communities are ahead of the game as much as they can be. The We Don't Buy Crime team works tirelessly to help reduce the amount of serious acquisitive crime. The team is dedicated to targeting those involved in serious acquisitive crime in our rural communities and we have seen some positive results with significant reductions in crime in areas signed up to the initiative.

"We will continue to use the tactics we have to enable us to target those causing the most harm in our rural areas, however, we are not complacent and would encourage local rural communities to come along and hear the steps they can take to help us in our efforts."

West Mercia Police also continues to run its Protect campaign - aimed at tackling serious and organised crime. Supt Harding added: "We know the majority of rural crime is committed by travelling criminals who are often part of a larger organised networks and it is important we all work together to counter this. There is often the perception that serious and organised crime only happens in large urban areas but the reality is it is happening everywhere and where it is happening in our communities we will do all we can to disrupt that network. Together, we must work to make our rural areas as undesirable as possible for travelling criminals to come and commit crime.

"Our local communities are our eyes and ears. We have safer neighbourhood teams covering every single town, village and hamlet across the county who work tirelessly to make even some of the most remote areas in the county even safer, however they rely on our local communities, so we want people to come forward and speak to us.

"Farmers and agricultural workers across Shropshire and Telford know their local area. They know when something is out of the ordinary, they know if a vehicle is seemingly suspicious or something seems untoward and that information helps us to build a bigger picture of what is happening in our communities and helps us to look at longer term solutions to resolve the issues our rural communities face."



ISSUED: 9.45am 021118 EH


Published 02/11/18