Warwickshire Rural Hub
Ten tips for protecting your Landrover Defender (and other vehicles)
For decades, the Land Rover Defender has been a British institution. But with iconic status comes demand, which in turn, can sadly attract the attention of thieves. n 2022, Land Rover Defender theft claims cost NFU Mutual £2.4m as thieves stole vehicles and dismantled parts on the spot. While the uptick in car crime surrounding the Defender might be cause for concern, the good news is that there are affordable steps you can take to better protect your Defender – or any other vehicle for that matter – from any opportunistic thieves. Visit this page to read how you can protect your Defender (or any other vehicle for that matter).
North Warwickshire alert – road planings and tarmac chippings for sale
Warwickshire Rural Watch has been made aware of a silver Mondeo – with yellow strips on the side and with a small light bar on the roof and ‘Road Maintenance’ sticker on the bumper – which is visiting rural properties in North Warwickshire offering road planings and scalpings. The vehicle and its occupants are of concern. They are making threats if they do not succeed in selling their wares and if anyone does let them use the planings on their property, the original price is severely increased and threats are made if this is not paid. Please do not agree to anything if approached and report to the Police straight away. If you feel threatened or concerned for your safety please call 999 immediately.
National Cyber Security Centre draws up specialist advice for farmers
The National Cyber Security Centre has worked with the National Farmers Union to support the agriculture and farming sector with a new guide especially created for the industry. The increased use of email, online accounting tools, online payment systems as well as automated farming equipment means that its increasingly important for farmers and rural communities to look at their growing exposure to cyber risks and how they can best protect themselves and their businesses. The guide has been written to be clear and understandable for a range of technical abilities, to help you become more aware or enhance your knowledge of cyber security measures. It offers advice in the form of tips for you to easily implement to become a more resilient and secure business. You can download the guide as a PDF from this web page.
Keep your eyes open for hare coursing
Hare coursing is more common post-harvest and can continue right through to spring. Warwickshire Police is part of Operation Galileo, a national approach to hare coursing with police forces working together to tackle this illegal wildlife crime. They are asking farmers to keep an eye out for the following signs:
- a number of vehicles showing signs of carrying dogs parked in rural areas, on verges, in gateways or near tracks
- people walking along field edges in order to frighten the hares into large, flat open areas of land
- people walking sight hounds such as lurchers and whippets
If you see a crime in action please ‘phone 999 and do not approach the participants. Take a note of car details and try to take a photo. If you do not see a crime in action but suspect that hare coursing has been taking place please ‘phone 101. Warwickshire Police has a dedicated Rural Crime Team to deal with wildlife crime.
Register your livestock or equines with Warwickshire Police
Warwickshire Police has a field and farm mapping system to allow them to trace the owner of any livestock or horses which might get out of their fields and need returning home safely. If you have not already registered your livestock or equines, please email the Rural Crime Team and they will send you a complete to complete.
Stay alert for illegal farriers
The new Government emergency alert system is now live
The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in an emergency. The service will be used to warn you about life-threatening emergencies such as severe flooding.
An Emergency Alert looks and sounds very different to other types of messages such as SMS ‘text messages’. You’ll know if you get an Emergency Alert because you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound and your phone will use a distinct vibration. A message will appear on your screen until you acknowledge it. You can opt out of receiving the alerts. To ensure the Emergency Alerts system works effectively, the government may occasionally carry out a test of the service. A test is currently scheduled for Sunday 23 April 2023.
You can find out more about this alert system on the Warwickshire Police website. The article includes a list of frequently asked questions.
Check if your waste disposal firm is registered
Fly tipping is an on-going issue and incidents in north Warwickshire have just been reported to the Police. Did you know that if you ask someone to collect and dispose of waste on your behalf, it is your responsibility to ensure that they hold a waste carrier’s licence and supply a waste transfer note? If you don’t undertake these checks and your waste ends up dumped illegally, you could be fined and prosecuted! You can check for a waste carrier licence on this page.
Read the NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report for 2022
Rural crime continues to be one of the biggest worries for the rural community with half of the respondents to NFU Mutual’s recent poll being concerned by rural crime, and a third saying it is of major concern. The latest NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report shows that claims for thefts of Landrover Defenders increased by 34% and the increase in post-pandemic dog ownership has resulted in more sheep and lambs being injured or killed. But it’s not all bad news – the cost of theft for GPS systems has decreased by 47% due to targeted support for police operations. Read the full report here and also gain some tips and advice on crime prevention.
Crime prevention advice for agricultural GPS systems
Theft of GPS systems, used by farmers on their vehicles and implements, is on the increase nationally, especially those used on tractors. As well as the loss of this important piece of equipment, offenders can also cause damage to the tractor when removing it. Forces around the country and abroad are working together, with key agencies, to identify the offenders and tackle this emerging crime. If you have this kind of equipment on your tractor, combine harvester or other machinery please read this advice sheet from Warwickshire Rural Watch. You can download the advice sheet here.
HOWL for help if your dog is stolen
HOWL is a dog theft prevention app developed with a solicitor. It is designed to gather evidence for prosecution purpose, emit an alarm and send a notification to your SOS contact. You can download the app from the Apple store. Full information on the app can be read on the HOWL website.
Contacts for the Warwickshire Rural Crime Team
We are fortunate in Warwickshire to have a dedicated Police team to work on rural matters. Please note the names and contact details for the Officers in the rural crime team below:
PC Andy Steventon– South West Warwickshire –- 07557 033186
PC Kate Taylor– South East Warwickshire –- 07814 046730
PC Matt Simms – South East Warwickshire –- 07841 048543
PC Andy Timmins– North Warwickshire –- 07790 951230
PC Andy Hoey– North Warwickshire –- 07870 514842
PC Jennifer May-Royle– Rugby, Nuneaton & Bedworth –– 07890 390715
The team are also supported countywide by Carol Cotterill who can be contacted on 07787 151848.
Please do not contact the above Police Officers to report a crime or when a crime is in action – in these instances ring 999 or 101. But the above contacts are available if you wish to discuss a specific issue or understand more of what the rural crime team is doing in your area. They will appreciate an invite to come and say hello, as they want to know their patches and the issues on the ground. The above contacts can also offer crime prevention advice.
Set your iphone to call emergency services with 5 clicks of the sleep/wake button
Did you know that you can set your iphone to call emergency services just by pressing the lock button 5 times? Go to “Settings” and search for Emergency SOS. You then need to enable “Auto Call”. You can also select to set a loud warning sound.
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.
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.
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 this YouTube Channel.
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.
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