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Home Secretary hears impact of rural crime in Wales

Home Secretary Theresa May was in Mid Wales at the weekend discussing rural crime with local farmers and Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon.
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Steve Keynon of NFU Mutual with Theresa May
Steve Keynon of NFU Mutual with Theresa May

Concerns raised included vehicle and livestock thefts, fly-tipping, sheep worrying, trespass, poaching, arson, vandalism and fraud.

 

“She was interested to know how my business had suffered as a result of crime and what steps we have taken to reduce the risk,” said host farmer Jonathan Wilkinson, who farms 162 ha (400 acres) and milks 350 cows at Dyffryn Farm, Meifod, near Welshpool, Powys.

 

The visit also provided the platform for NFU Cymru rural affairs board chairman, Hedd Pugh, to highlight the need for increasing the allocation of resources to rural areas, as well as making rural crime easier to report, improving cross border communication and targeted training to give officers a clearer idea of crimes and anti-social behaviour that commonly affects farmers.

 

The Home Secretary also met with NFU Mutual Group Secretary Steve Kenyon to hear about the Farm Watch Scheme he helped set up.

 

Speaking afterwards the Home Secretary said: “Rural crime is every bit as distressing for victims as it is in urban areas and the Government takes it very seriously.

 

“It is testament to the work of Dyfed Powys Police and Christopher Salmon that this region has the lowest rate of recorded crime in Wales and England and one of the highest charge rates.”

 

Mr Salmon said: “I made keeping rural areas safe a priority when I was elected in 2012 and we now have more officers spending more time in our towns and villages.

 

“Dyfed Powys is the safest area in Britain, partly thanks to our rural strategy and the hard work of our specialist rural liaison officers.”


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Rural crime taskforce planned for North Wales

Rural crime taskforce planned for North Wales

Plans for a new Countryside Crime Taskforce have been launched in North Wales.

 

David Taylor, Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in North Wales, said rural crime and especially farm machinery theft was a growing problem in the area.

 

Mr Taylor said: “I know people here often feel vulnerable to crime as a result of their location. I am not convinced the police always fully understand the level of vulnerability and it’s time they did.”

 

As PCC, he said he would convene a taskforce with local authorities, community councils, farming representatives and others to ascertain the extent of the problem and agree a course of action.

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