New project worth over £150k to tackle rural crime in Oxfordshire

The new project will crack down on crimes affecting farmers (Photo: TVP Rural Crime Taskforce)
The new project will crack down on crimes affecting farmers (Photo: TVP Rural Crime Taskforce)

A new project worth over £150,000 will see police utilise off-road bikes and covert cameras to crack down on rural crime plaguing farmers in Oxfordshire.

Thames Valley Police said it wanted to "send a clear message" that rural Oxfordshire was a hostile environment for criminals.

Its new scheme worth £156,000 will crack down on crimes affecting farmers, including fly-tipping and burglaries.

The force added that crime prevention advice would also be offered to farmers and rural communities.

The latest figures by the NFU show that rural crime rose by 22% in 2022, costing the UK approximately £49.5 million.

Thames Valley Police's project is being funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley and the Home Office’s Safer Streets initiative.

As part of it, farmers will be able to undergo security checks and will be provided DNA marking kits for tractors and machinery.

And covert cameras will help the force catch fly-tippers and waste criminals, while police will use off-road bikes to pursue criminals in remote areas.

Project lead, Chief Inspector Rachel Patterson said: “I am delighted that we have been given access to this funding which will help us tackle rural crime across the area.

“Rural crime really affects our communities, and we hope that with the close link to farms that the Rural Crime Advisor will have, along with DNA marker kits, we can send a clear message that Thames Valley is a hostile environment for rural criminals."

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, added that rural crime can have a significant impact on farmers.

"The creation of the new Rural Crime Partnership will increase the confidence and security of farms and rural industries across West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse and make them a harder target for criminals.”