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PCC hosts 2-day event to combat rural crime in Bedfordshire

PCC hosts 2-day event to combat rural crime in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire’s PCC Festus Akinbusoye vows to tackle crimes like theft from farms and hare coursing in meetings with the county’s farming communities.

The PCC and Deputy PCC Ian Dalgarno joined forces Bedfordshire Police’s Rural Crime team and National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman Freya Morgan.

The events, in the north and south of the county saw different groups pledge to continue to work together to tackle rural crimes that impact rural communities.

Deputy Commissioner Ian Dalgarno said: “It was an invaluable opportunity to meet with our farming communities and hear from them directly at our annual event.

“Last December we launched a ‘rural task force’ vision, so we were able to come together as a group and check in on any issues or concerns.

“I’m confident that we’re working in collaboration to ensure crimes are being reported and investigated and indeed updated fed back to our rural communities.

“It is vitally important that the police ensure our rural communities feel as safe and protected as those who live in our larger towns.

“The energy and enthusiasm from the meeting alongside some recent action we have taken gave confidence to our farming community that we continue to be on the same page to crackdown on rural crime.”

Mr Akinbusoye said “This event gives us the opportunity to tap into the farming community’s network and local knowledge, as well as key information sharing between Beds Police and the farming communities.

“These meetings are crucial for improving performance and delivery of police service in our rural areas and we now have action plans in place for next year.”

Jeremy Markham who attended one of the events said “Attending the recent Rural Crime event, I appreciated the opportunity to meet for the first time our Police and Crime Commissioner and to hear first-hand some of the issues he deals with, what he has done so far, and how he intends to tackle some of the rural issues going forward.

“Despite the obvious difference between urban and rural policing in the county, it was reassuring to hear that along with increased rural police numbers, he is willing to listen to our concerns and improve things going forward”.

Chief Inspector Jim Goldsmith from the Community Policing team said: “These events give us the chance to talk about our partnership work along with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Many farmers have suffered from farm equipment thefts causing distress and a large financial loss. My plea to all is please report crimes or incidents to us online or via 101.

“For us to help, we need to know what is happening.

“I was able to share details of our dedicated rural crime team and will strive to call on the victims where appropriate to give reassurance and crime prevention advice.

“By working together, we can get a grip on rural crime and bring those causing misery to our communities to justice.”

The group heard about CESAR; a database that means officers can identify farm equipment in suspicious circumstances.

Cesar is one of the initiatives under the Home Office funded Safer Streets 5 project that supports neighbourhood crime.

PC Nicky Burns from the Mental Health Community Policing team spoke at length about services available to anyone that’s suffering with their mental health following an incident.

Ms Burns said “We know that the farming community are at high risk of suffering with mental health because of the isolation and the impact the crime has on their businesses and livelihoods.

“Aside from the financial cost, these types of crimes can also have a considerable impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing.

“I cannot stress enough that you don’t have to suffer in silence, there’s lots of support available to farming communities.

“We work in partnership with the East London NHS Foundation Trust, Mind and Chums to provide services that are specifically to help with anyone who is struggling or in crisis.”

“Even if it’s to start conversations that can change, or even save lives.”

For more information about rural crime please visit

If you’d like to know more about Safer Streets please visit our website:  or email

If you’d like to know more about the Mental Health Hub team, please contact or you can speak with the East London NHS Foundation Trust, Mind or Chums directly:

East London NHS Foundation Trust – Crisis Pathway team – call 111 and choose option 2 – available 24/7.

Mind –, 

Chums –




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