Multi-agency campaign to support Uttlesford's farming community

More than 200 working farms in Uttlesford were visited as part of an 18-month multi-agency initiative to support rural communities.

The 'Reach Our Rural Communities' campaign was launched by the Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership last year and included Essex Police, Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, Crimestoppers, the National Farmers' Union, Neighbourhood Watch, Essex Watch, and Uttlesford District Council.

The aim was to provide reassurance, tackle loneliness and isolation, offer wellbeing advice and support victims of crime.

Almost 1,000 properties were identified as part of the project, which included 204 working farms. As well as offering crime prevention advice, the Partnership provided free tool and machinery property marking sessions, fitted dozens of new smoke alarms and signed up many more properties to the Farm Watch scheme. As many as 37 farmers also said they had experienced hare coursing issues over the past 12 months and efforts will be focused in these areas with targeted patrols and crime prevention initiatives.

David Messam, Chair of the Uttlesford CSP, said: "We know farmers and landowners can feel isolated and that their issues around crime are not being heard. This campaign was all about opening up a conversation, to better understand the issues and to let people know that we are here to support them.

"I'm pleased the Partnership was able to engage and help those who needed it as part of the campaign. However, the work does not stop there - we will continue to build on relationships with the farming and rural community and work to address the issues that matter to them."

Meanwhile, everyone who lives, works and travels within rural communities in Essex is being encouraged to give their views on a new countywide Rural Crime Strategy. The strategy, which is being developed by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, sets out the approach to tackling crime in rural areas over the next few years.

The survey can be completed at: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/essexruralcrimestategy2022-2026

21 July 2022