A farmer has spoken of his anger over inconsistencies in rural policing after his local team failed to recognise a nearby break in, despite dealing ‘professionally and helpfully’ with a similar incident on his own farm.
Laura McCulloch reports...
Simon Waters, who farms at Pebworth, Worcestershire, said another intrusion only two miles down the road was dismissed by West Mercia Police because the farm was across the border in Warwickshire.
He presumed both incidents were caused by the same perpetrator.
Despite their best efforts dealing with the incident on his own farm, Mr Waters said the police suggested they were not aware of the other incident and would be unlikely to be kept informed due to a compatibility failure within the area’s computer systems.
“The police really need to get their act together and work in a more joined up way [in sharing intelligence],” said Mr Waters.
“I find it extraordinary the police force had no idea what happened just two miles down the road here, especially as both crimes were likely to be related.”
Mr Waters’ home farm was targeted about two weeks ago when chains to a gate were cut.
However, the second incident was much worse.
He said: “Their shed was broken into and a chainsaw worth about £1,000 was stolen.
Mercia Police Sergeant for Wychavon, Sarah Kent, said: “We are aware offenders travel into communities intent on stealing quad bikes, 4x4s, farm machinery, tools and other valuable property, but we are committed to doing all we can to reduce all types of crime affecting the rural community and fully recognise the concerns of those affected."
She said crime reduction officers and rural crime coordinators worked in rural communities, as well as mobile contact centres to provide advice and guidance to people living and working in rural communities.
Sergeant Kent added: “We continue to invest in automatic number plate recognition technology, so we can track suspicious vehicles across our road network.”
She advised anyone living or working in the countryside to remain vigilant and encouraged people to sign up to their community messaging system, where regular information and crime prevention advice is posted by local safer neighbourhood teams.