Hare-coursing, anti-social behaviour and grant to tackle fly-tipping all on agenda at North Herts rural crime meeting in Royston

Some of the attendees of the rural crime meeting in Royston. Picture: Herts police

Some of the attendees of the rural crime meeting in Royston. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Farmers and other members of the rural North Herts community went along to a public meeting in Royston to discuss crime last week.

Fly-tipping, hare coursing, anti-social use of vehicles and damage to crops were the main issues raised at the barn meeting attended by representatives from Herts police, the county’s fire and rescue service, the district council, the National Farmers Union and concerned members of the public.

Nina Villa, deputy chief executive for the police and crime commissioner, said: “We know fly-tipping is a significant issue and we are keen to hear your views on the best way to tackle this problem.

“The commissioner has provided a grant of more than £80,000 to help local authorities tackle fly-tipping across the county.

“This grant will be used to cover a wide range of initiatives including launching a public relations campaign to remind residents to check the official credentials of companies disposing of their waste.”

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Chief Con Charlie Hall added: “We are doing a lot to address rural crime concerns. However it is also important that you the community continue to engage with us.

“We also have the Rural Operational Support Team who provide assistance on rural issues and also help and support police officers working in this area.”

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Chf Insp for North Herts Julie Wheatley acknowledged that fly-tipping and hare coursing are on-going issues and the profile of these crimes has changed.

Mrs Wheatley said: “These are anti-social behaviours causing you angst and you need a proper response from us. My job is to have resources in the right place at the right time.

“Part of the challenge for North Herts is our criminality is not home grown – there are criminals crossing the border, who aren’t known to us and are difficult to pin-point.”

Crime prevention officer Ian Dowse reminded attendants to make vehicles secure and advised that all plant machinery and agricultural equipment should have a CESAR marking. The Construction and Agricultural Equipment Security and Registration Scheme means all plant machinery is to be marked and registered for easy identification.

This allows vehicles to be uniquely identified through marking, reducing the risk of equipment being stolen.

Those who attended the meeting were also reminded of ways to contact the police if they wished to report a crime.

Dial 999 in an emergency, when a crime is in progress or someone suspected of a crime is nearby, for example if you see someone in the act of fly-tipping or anti-social driving, causing damage to crops.

To report a crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response, for example if a vehicle has been stolen or there has been damage to your property, you can also now report crime directly to the constabulary’s website www.contacthertspolice.uk/report/crime, where you can conduct a live webchat with the Force Control Room. Alternatively you can call 101.

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