Farmer calls for better policing on rural crime

A farmer has called on the police to ‘get its act together’ over its response to reports of rural crime in Windsor and Maidenhead.

A meeting of the council’s rural forum heard on Tuesday how Thames Valley Police recorded 30 incidents of rural crime in the borough over the past six months.

This was almost double the 18 reports received over the same period last year.

Farmer William Emmett told the forum he had experienced problems trying to explain to the police control room where his land was located while reporting suspicious behaviour.

He said: “We have had numerous incursions on our property through this summer, both on foot with dogs and vehicles driving through hedges.

“On one particular nasty evening we had six quadbikes who came up the main road and drove all over land between Holyport and Drift Road.”

He added: “A big issue we have is the amount of time it takes on the end of a telephone when you’re trying to keep people at bay, either with dogs or vehicles, and the police don’t even know where Holyport is.

“The police need to get its act together and those answering the telephones need to know instantly where we are when we say our postcode.

“When you are confronted by a group of guys on six quadbikes and you are trying to tell the police there is an issue, we need a quick response and quick information.”

Andy Ward, from Thames Valley Police, said when people report rural crimes they can use the ‘what3words’ app which helps provide precise GPS co-ordinates of where they are calling from.

He added: “I can feed that (feedback) back to our control rooms. They are relying to a large degree on the tech they have and the information you provide.”

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