Warwickshire Rural Hub
New rural crime team for Warwickshire
Warwickshire Police has announced the launch of the first Warwickshire Rural Crime Team dedicated to reducing rural crime across the county. The role of the team is to deliver the Rural Crime Strategy which focusses on the significant issues affecting farmers, businesses and rural communities such as livestock offences, Op Hillman to address the theft and illegal butchery of sheep, acquisitive crime such as the theft of farm machinery, plant and machinery, to the issue of fly tipping. The team will work closely with the other teams within Warwickshire Police to support them in tackling some of these issues. Each officer will have geographical ownership of a part of Warwickshire. Their first priority will be to start building up links with the rural community, developing relationships and recognising where we need to address emerging trends in line with our strategy.
The team consists of Sgt Bob Shaw, PC Andy Timmins, PC Kate Taylor, PC Craig Purcell, PC Andy King and RCO Carol Cotterill.
Watch out for string markers on field gates
A report has been received from another police force area of string being tied half way down on gates and just on one side if two gates are locked or fastened together. If you have discovered string on your gates and it has not been put there by yourself, please advise on 101 or the website www.warwickshire.police.uk and remove it immediately.
Police launch Operation Hillman to tackle sheep slaughtering
Warwickshire Police is working to tackle incidents of sheep slaughtering and butchering facing livestock farmers across Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in particular. Twenty four lambs were recently targeted in field near Harborough Magna. The livestock appear to be professionally slaughtered and carcasses have been stolen. The police are operating ‘Operation Hillman’ and extra patrols are in place. Please note that the gangs appear to target fields close to major roads including the A5, A14, M6 and M1. Please be vigilant and report incidents anonymously to the NFU’s Rural Crime Reporting Line, run in partnership with the charity Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 783 0137 or visiting http://www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk/
For a full report on this issue please visit this page.
DVLA scheme to register off-road vehicles
Like all vehicles, off road vehicles are at risk of being stolen. However, if they are stolen they are more difficult to find if they are not registered at DVLA. A scheme has been introduced to register off road vehicles in order to improve detection rates in theft. For full information on how to register your off-road vehicles please visit this link.
Could the uWatch cube help with your security concerns?
The uWatch Cube is a little weather proof box that can be sited anywhere that has a mobile signal. If the cube is moved, something moves in front of it, a Bluetooth Tag activates it, the temperature is outside a range you have set or the internal clock has told it to activate you will receive an alert on your smartphone in less than 30 seconds. The uWatch Cube could therefore be used for a variety of situations including security and as such the device has Police “secured by design” approval for preventing and solving crime. To view full information on wWatch Cube please visit this website.
Advice on Cyber Security
Advice on how to protect your business from cyber criminals is available on this website.
Rural Crime Reporting
As part of their ongoing work to tackle the serious issues surrounding criminal behaviour on farms and in the wider countryside, the NFU has partnered with the charity Crimestoppers to launch the Rural Crime Reporting Line, a service through which information about four rural crimes can be given anonymously. Rural crimes often go under-reported and their true extent remains unknown. Anyone who has experienced, witnessed or has any information about these rural crimes is encouraged to come forward and call the line – your information could be extremely valuable.
Contact number: 0800 783 0137
Beware of fraudsters targeting farmers who receive subsidy payments
In the past, banks have warned that fraudsters pretending to be from their bank’s fraud department may try to target farmers who receive subsidy payments. Remember:
• Your bank will never ask you for your full online password
• Your bank will not ask you to make a payment over the phone using your online account.
• If you get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank (or any other organisation), make sure it’s genuine. End the call then wait 5 minutes and call them back on a number you know is correct (not a number they’ve given you).
• Never give your PIN and other passwords to a 3rd party even if you think you are speaking to your bank.
Beware of phishing email with Police branding
Warwickshire Police has been made aware of a phishing email that is using police branding to provoke responses.
The email says that the recipient is being summoned to court as a witness and asks them to follow a link, which could then lead to a virus or malware being placed on their computer.
For full information on the email please visit the link below.
Beware of rogue tarmac gangs
Farmers are warned to beware of rogue tarmac gangs targeting their premises. The gangs either door knock or more recently (and in a new twist to an old scam) phone the farm and claim they have some left over tarmac they want to get rid of. They imply that they would rather tip the tarmac on the farm driveway to cover a few potholes as a favour, rather than have to dispose of it. If the farmer agrees, the rogue gang arrive quickly, spread the tarmac and then demand thousands of pounds with menaces!
If you have been a victim or are approached and threatened please report to the police on 101 or 999 if immediately concerned for your safety.
Report a wildlife crime anonymously
Warwickshire Wildlife Watchers has added a form to their website which will allow the reporting of a wildlife crime to take place anonymously.
Lamping without permission, hare coursing, persecution of badgers, bats and birds of prey and are examples of incidents which are against the law.
Visit the website below if you want to report a wildlife crime.
Consider registering a domain name for your business if you don’t have a website
Online criminals are using a fake website scam to trick customers into paying money for goods that are never received. They do this by setting up a website using the name of a genuine business that does not have a website. The customer then thinks they are purchasing online goods from a genuine business but never receives the goods that they pay for.
If you are a business that does not have a website consider registering the domain name of your company to ensure that you do not fall victim to this scam.
Request for businesses to remain vigilent
Following a spate of robberies in Kenilworth and South Warwickshire, Warwickshire Police has issued a number of alerts in relation to incidents at business premises in recent days. A request to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the Police on 101 has been issued. If you’d like to sign up to the Warwickshire Police Community Messaging Service please visit the website below.
Cyber Safety Advice
In the light of the recent cyber attacks on the NHS Warwickshire County Council has produced some cyber safety advice for businesses.
To read the advice in full please use the link below.
New YouTube videos to help businesses avoid cyber crime
A new YouTube Channel has recently been launched which is specifically aimed at businesses. The Channel houses an array of short, useful videos covering cyber crime related topics.
Some of the video topics include Ransomware, Phishing Emails and Password Management. If you’d like to view the videos or look at what other topics are covered visit the YouTube Channel below.
Scene it. Herd it. A new Crimestoppers campaign
Theft of livestock, farm tools, oil, diesel, quad bikes, trailers and burglaries from farm buildings remain top targets of thieves in the Warwickshire countryside, prompting independent charity Crimestoppers to launch a new campaign tackling rural crime across the county.
There has been a sharp increase in the theft of expensive tractors and recent intelligence suggests that organised criminals are specifically targeting British farms and machinery dealers. The problem affects communities, businesses, farmers and manufacturers.
Crimestoppers is working closely with agencies such as NFU Mutal, Horse Watch, and Rural Watch to spread the word that there is a safe, anonymous way to report crime.
Beware of storage scam
Following recent increases in fly-tipping there have been a number of incidents across the country where farmers have been paid cash to store material, for example road planings. Farmers are then discovering wrapped bails of landfill refuse stored instead, often in very large quantities and facing an equally large bill to clear the rubbish up. Please be aware of this and contact the police on 101 if you receive such requests for ‘storage’.
The excellent Warwickshire Horsewatch is also open for horse owners in the West Mercia area. Warwickshire and West Mercia forces also recognise that with rural and equine crime, thieves do not respect borders and what happens in one county soon moves across to another. Therefore, alerts from many other counties are included on their Facebook page and in their Bulletins. You are invited to join the Warwickshire Scheme. To join, please visit the Warwickshire Horsewatch website: www.warwickshire-horsewatch.co.uk
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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm
Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Rural Hub Co-ordinator
Tel: 07780 159291
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Hub Steering Group Members
Luke Ryder, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Susan Schlee, S2M Marketing
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Bob Slater, Slater Farm Management Services
Jef Tuyn, Agricultural Consultant
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.
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