North Herts rural crime discussed at Royston meeting

The annual Barn Meet took place at Thrift Farm in Royston. Picture: Herts police

The annual Barn Meet took place at Thrift Farm in Royston. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

People from a host of agencies went along to the annual Barn Meet in Royston yesterday to discuss rural crime in North Herts.

At Thrift Farm, landowners and farmers met with Chief Constable Charlie Hall, officers from the police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team and Rural Operational Support Police Team, Herts Fire and Rescue Service, the National Farmers Union, representatives from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and council officers.

The subjects discussed included fly-tipping, with Dr Birkhamshaw – from the PCC office – giving an overview of the current situation in Hertfordshire, some of the successful prosecutions and new initiatives.

Chf Con Hall talked about how the force tackles rural crime and the fire service spoke about ways farmers can protect themselves against crime and new ways to help emergency services find remote locations quickly.

Sgt Guy Westwood said: “The barn meet is a popular event which enables the rural communities of North Herts to meet with police and partner agencies to discuss issues which affect them on a daily basis.

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“It is also a chance for partner agencies to catch up and learn about new rural initiatives to tackle not only crime but any rural issue. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions.

“Our rural communities are very important to us and we understand that they have specific policing needs. It was great to see so many people at the event.”

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Dr Birkhamshaw added: “The barn meet is a good opportunity for partner agencies to come together to discuss the issues that affect rural communities.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, takes these matters very seriously and in 2017 ring-fenced £400,000 of Proceeds of Crime Act funds towards a Local Partnership Fund, which gives councils the opportunity through matched funding to help support local solutions to address issues such as fly-tipping, fly-grazing and anti-social behaviour.

“More than £132,000 of the fund has so far been spent in funding anti fly-tipping initiatives including the purchase of new cameras for deployment at fly-tipping hotspots across the county.

“We recognise that there remains a lot more work to be done and we will continue to encourage and work with the constabulary and other partners on tackling these challenges.”

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