Shropshire Star

Shropshire police squads visit markets to highlight fight against rural crime

West Mercia Police's rural crime team has been meeting farmers at livestock markets in the region to speak to traders about crime prevention methods.

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PC Phil Nock speaks with Ivor Davies from Cross Lanes Farm at Oswestry Livestock Market

The visits to livestock markets on Wednesday were part of a bid by the force to highlight the work it does with partners in the agricultural community as part of National Rural Crime Week.

West Mercia Police Rural and Business Officers (RABOs) attended Oswestry Livestock Market on Wednesday, where PC Phil Nock and RABO Graham Donaldson spoke to farmers and traders about how they can best protect their farming equipment, including signing them up to Smartwater.

Smartwater is a traceable liquid and forensic asset marking system that is applied to items of value to identify thieves and deter theft.

Shropshire police visit Oswestry Livestock Market

PC Nock said: "Attending these types of events on a regular basis allows us to build good working relationships with local farmers, and it builds their trust in us in knowing they have a dedicated team helping with rural and business type crimes.

"Today we were able to speak to a number of Shropshire-based farmers, and as a result managed to sign a number of them up to Smartwater."

PC Phil Nock speaks to farmers at Oswestry Livestock Market

Officers from West Mercia Police also attended Worcester Livestock Market where officers were joined by Worcestershire Trading Standards and a vet from the Animal & Plant Health Agency who were on hand to support farmers at the event.

Mick Simpson, RABO for South Worcestershire, said: “This was one of our regular visits to the market, which are a great opportunity for us to speak to farmers and offer crime prevention advice.

“Theft of livestock and farm machinery have a big impact on farmers’ livelihoods, but we recognise they are busy working their land, so we hope by us coming to them it was an opportunity to drop by our stand and chat to us about any concerns they have.

“We were also signing them up to our watch schemes and Smartwater systems while they were here.”