£156k boost announced to tackle rural crime in Oxfordshire

The Oxfordshire community will benefit from a £156,000 boost that aims to tackle rural crime. 

£156k boost announced to tackle rural crime in Oxfordshire

Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Taskforce will receive off-road bikes and covert cameras to target criminals in hard-to-reach areas. 

The officers will also be working with farmers to improve security. Farms will be eligible to sign up for security checks and will be given DNA marking kits for agricultural machinery. They include property-marking labels to deter theft. 

New surveillance equipment, which will help district councils catch fly-tippers and tackle hotspot areas, is also going to be purchased. 

The new rural crime advisor will work to promote rural crime prevention and engage with rural communities, industries, farms and organisations such as Young Farmers and the NFU. 

Affecting rural communities 

Matthew Barber, police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley, said: “I am pleased to have secured over £150,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to help tackle rural crime. 

“Rural crime can have a significant impact on victims and can leave our most isolated communities feeling particularly vulnerable but the creation of the new Rural Crime Partnership, facilitating collaborative working between Thames Valley Police and local councils, will increase the confidence and security of farms and rural industries across West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse and make them a harder target for criminals.” 

Project lead, deputy LPA commander for South and Vale, chief inspector Rachel Patterson, added that access to this funding will help police tackle rural crime across the area. 

“Rural crime really affects our communities, and we hope that with the close link to farms that the Rural Crime Advisor will have, along with DNA marker kits, we can send a clear message that Thames Valley is a hostile environment for rural criminals, and we are committed to supporting our rural communities,” she concluded. 

NFU Mutual published data that rural crime cost the UK an estimated £49.5m in 2022, up from £40.5m the previous year.

READ MORE: NFU to send letter to elected PPCs as rural crime figures are concerning

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