Ceredigion police officers are working to establish a Farmwatch scheme in the area in conjunction with the Farmers Union Wales, National Farmers Wales, Farming Connect and local councillors.
Farmwatch is a partnership between the farming community and the police. It encourages vigilance and communication, not only between individual farmers but also with the police.
PCSO Trish Smith said: “Police will do everything we can to help, and one of the most vital things the farming community can do is to help us build up an intelligence picture of who is behaving suspiciously around farms. Many agricultural thefts are planned in advance, criminals may check out a property in a bid to assess security and property, and it is with this that you can help us with.”
Farm Watch is free to join and will help improve communication between farmers and the police in order to reduce the opportunities for crime and vandalism As well as farmyard and household theft, issues such as fly-tipping, illegal off-roading and livestock theft will be addressed by the scheme.
She added: “Farm Watch will enable officers to advise farmers on issues such as crime prevention and provide access to other partnership agencies who can help with the challenges they face. The scheme will also allow the police to receive valuable feedback, so we can improve the scheme where necessary to ensure Ceredigion remains one of the safest places in England and Wales. The next farm watch meeting will be held at 7.30pm on September 11, in the Llanina Hotel, Llanarth. I would encourage everyone from the local farming community to attend.”
Also involved in the scheme is Smartwater, who offer innovative liquid forensic coding solution which is virtually impossible to remove and is undetectable to the naked eye, but fluoresces brightly under ultraviolet light, and provides property with a forensic link back to the owner.
Farmers wishing to join the scheme can call 101 and leave their details for for the attention of PCSO 8016 Trish Smith, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.