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Kent farmers and landowners back police in fight against rural crime

Pictured at Saynden Farm, from left are: Mike Eckley, George Edmonds, vice-chairman of Ashford & District YFC, Callum Vincent, chairman Ashford & District YFC, farmer Claire Eckley, Y, Kent NFU Adviser Amanda Corp, Kent Police Chief Contable Alan Pughsley and (far right) Guy Eckley, who hosted the event with his wife Claire and father Mike.

Kent Police has held discussions with the NFU and the CLA on the importance of working together with farmers and landowners to tackle crime.

Kent Police chief constable Alan Pughsley updated NFU and CLA representatives on the constabulary’s resources, its strategy for tackling rural crime and partnership working during an annual liaison meeting on November 30.

The meeting, which was split into two halves, began at police headquarters in Maidstone, moving to Saynden Farm, Staplehurst.

NFU South East Regional Director William White said: “The Chief Constable has listened to concerns from the rural community and, helped by Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott, the force has now been given the necessary resources to deploy an additional six new rural police officers across the county. Kent Police faces huge challenges in this large and densely populated county. However, farmers and landowners recognise that they must take steps to protect themselves from becoming victims of crime and work more closely with police.”

Farmer and landowner representatives of both organisations were present, with young farmers joining the meeting at Saynden Farm, Staplehurst. Here police heard first hand from host farmer Guy Eckley relating his experiences of rural crime, with a group discussion of on-farm security and the use of drones.

CLA South East Regional Surveyor Tim Bamford said: “We appreciate that police have a range of significant pressures, particularly in Kent where making contingency Brexit plans is so important for rural businesses in the county and beyond. But we want to ensure that tackling rural crime such as fly-tipping, hare coursing and machinery theft remains a top priority, as it affects so many landowners and farmers.

Kent Police is a pro-active force and we look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future.”

Detailed discussions were held on continuing issues arising from traveller encampments and incursions, fly-tipping, farm security and thefts of high value tools and machinery. Police received an update on far-reaching changes in agricultural policy and the economic outlook for farming.

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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