I work for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), supporting our representatives on the ground (our Group Secretaries) within Holland, Lincs. I coincidentally started my role at the same time Lincolnshire Police welcomed Bill Skelly as their new Chief Constable. After listening to Lincolnshire farmers’ concerns about rural crime and hare coursing in particular, Mr Skelly committed to tackling rural crime in a meaningful way and providing his team with the resources, kit and focus it needed.
Having spent time with members of the local community and rural crime officers out in the field, I can see that words are beginning to translate into action. The force very publicly showcased its new equipment including drone technology, some of which has been used to catch criminals in the process of committing a crime. The rural neighbourhood policing effort also seems to have a new energy about it, with farmers and local communities reporting a strong response rate and general engagement with rural crime officers.
It was never going to be plain sailing though. There have been instances where people reporting incidents of crime have felt the response has not been quick and strong enough, whether this is the initial police response or the subsequent severity of charge or conviction rate. We’re in regular contact with the tactical lead for Operation Galileo, Chief Inspector Jim Tyner and also meet with Lincs Police face to face with stakeholders from across the industry. This contact offers us a platform where we can voice local concerns and agree what will be done to address the situation.