Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, joined Thames Valley’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, and Buckingham MP, Greg Smith on Saturday (25/3) to hear about the work of Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Taskforce.
The taskforce have recovered stolen goods worth more than £1.5m and their proactive approach has seen a significant impact in reducing hare coursing offences. Inspector Hutchings, who leads the team, explained the close working relation that has been developed with farmers and organisations such as the National Farmers Union (NFU).
Matthew Barber said: “It was great to showcase some of the work being done by Thames Valley Police to protect our rural communities. The Home Secretary heard from farmers and the NFU about the challenges that theft of machinery and tools present to those farming in Thames Valley. It also provided an opportunity to explain the work being done to improve forensic marking of machinery and equipment.”
Greg Smith, Member of Parliament for Buckingham, has sponsored a Private Members Bill that will make the marking and registration of such machinery a legal requirement. The Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill is currently making its way through Parliament, and the visit provided an opportunity to demonstrate to the Home Secretary some of the measures that can be put in place to safeguard machinery.