Mar 14 2013 by Tom Duffy, Ormskirk Advertiser
HUNDREDS of people attended an event at Lancashire Constabulary’s headquarters to reduce rural crime.
The initiative provided farmers with free advice on how to protect themselves from crime gangs.
Other agencies including Tracker Network UK and Datatag also attended Monday’s event.
PC Ivan Leivers, who is Lancashire police’s community beat manager for the southern parishes, chatted to the Advertiser about the reality of rural crime.
He said: “I am concerned at the moment by the rise in poaching and hare coursing. Both are illegal.
Coursing is a particular worry. The dogs rip hares to shreds, and the remains are often left near public footpaths. A family on a day out can then be confronted by this mess. The people engaged in coarsing also drive on to other people’s land in 4x4s , doing more damage.
“When confronted these people can become aggressive very quickly.
“I would also like to point out that many of the poachers are not local some are coming from as far as Yorkshire.”
Superintendent Andy Webster, who leads on rural crime for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Due to the remote locations of many rural properties, it can be easy for residents and workers to develop a false sense of security – so crime prevention is not always their top focus. Thieves are aware of this and that there is less chance that they will be seen.
“We work very closely with both rural communities and farming associations to tackle this type of crime and are increasingly using social media in order to keep people informed about what is going on in their areas.
“One of the most recent initiatives is the use of ‘In The Know’. This is a free messaging service which allows the police and other agencies to send out a range of information from local crime alerts to job opportunities.
“Countryside crime remains low in Lancashire and in the past 12 months has actually fallen by almost nine per cent. We want it to remain that way and we will continue to target offenders, with the help of our rural residents and workers. I urge people to work with us to reduce crime – remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us.”