MP Nick Herbert pushes the virtues of Crimestoppers

There were almost 300 attendees present at the national seminar held recently which is aimed at stopping rural crime. The event was hosted by ACPO, the Association of chief police Officers and Crimestoppers, the crime stopping charity.

The event was held on the 10th of November at Kettering Conference Centre and was called ‘Closing the Gate on Criminality’. It was the largest rural crime seminar ever held in the UK and was attended by both national organisations and members of various rural communities. The key speaker was the minister of state for policing and criminal justice, the Rt. Hon Nick Herbert MP.

Dave Cording is the deputy CE of Crimestoppers and he has said that they were delighted with the turnout and that it had also been good to have Nick Herbert delivering a key speech as it showed how vital this issue was nationally, and it was good to hear him describe the role Crimestoppers played as immensely important.

“A key point made was that agricultural equipment such as tractors costing up to £150,000 is being stolen, sometimes by organised criminals who can get it out of the country within 24 hours – and may leave the rightful owners unable to carry on their day-to-day work without it. This strengthens our determination to “close the gate” on criminality in rural areas.

“The seminar covered many essential topics, including using new technology such as texting and social media to share vital information to fight rural crime. We also discussed the need for community involvement, and sharing of information and intelligence.”

Rural crime can include theft of farm machinery and equipment, oil, diesel, batteries, metal for scrap value, tools, quad bikes, agricultural chemicals, tractors, and livestock such as sheep. An estimated £50 million to £70 million worth of plant and agricultural machinery is stolen nationally every year, and only 5% of this stolen property is ever recovered.

Dave Cording added: “We understand that rural communities are close-knit and trust is an important part of rural life, so people may be aware of who are committing these crimes, perhaps a neighbour or work colleague, but don’t feel comfortable giving this information directly to the police. This is where Crimestoppers can help, by providing an anonymous service for people to pass on information about crimes.

“We were also very pleased to work with Woldmarsh, our supporters in Lincolnshire, at the seminar – as we are with all organisations with strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).”Seminar exhibitor Jo Quelch, Woldmarsh Marketing Manager, said: “We were delighted to show our support, and also with the amount of interest we received as the only Agricultural Buying group attending.

“The seminar was a great opportunity for all of us to spread awareness as communities, partners, businesses and manufacturers. We hope it was the beginning of many more equally successful events, as Woldmarsh continues to help empower communities to give information on this vital area of “closing the gate” on rural criminality.”

More information on the seminar is also available at: www.acporuralcrime.org