A farmer has praised a Three Rivers PC and a PCSO for their continued hard work and support in tackling anti-social behaviour.
Tom Mixture, from Woodoaks Farm in Maple Cross, Rickmansworth, has been working closely with PC Christian Gottmann and PCSO Cloe Moy from the Rickmansworth and Croxley Green Safer Neighbourhood Team for several years.
Mr Mixture said: “Last year, we had huge problems with motocross riders in one of the rape fields. A dirt track had appeared almost overnight and the people responsible had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. I made contact with Christian, Cloe and the team, and they have been fantastic ever since.
“They regularly visit me and other farmers in the area, and have caught bikers red-handed on several occasions. There can be no underestimating the important of rural policing, especially in the Rickmansworth area which is a very busy area to farm.
“Fortunately, my local team are extremely efficient and very quick to attend any incidents. Thanks to their dedication, we have seen a huge reduction in incidents involving dirt bikes in the fields.”
PC Christian Gottmann said: “While crime and anti-social behaviour tends to occur far less in rural areas, it’s not to say that it never happens at all. Criminals wrongly assume that the quieter parts of the county are easy targets.
“Myself, Cloe and the team pay regular visits to Woodoaks Farm as part of our patrol routes, at all hours of the day and night. Often, this gives us chance to catch up with Tom face-to-face and he has the opportunity to tell us of any concerns or issues he has.
“This helps us quickly identify problems and work together to form an approach that works for everyone.”
Recently, PC Gottmann was on patrol in Maple Cross and received a call to say there were a number of people riding bikes on land belonging to Woodoaks Farm.
He attended and identified three people with bikes. All were all issued with Section 59 notices (driving in an anti-social manner) and Community Protection Warnings.
PC Gottmann said: “I want the message to be loud and clear: this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and those who partake in it will be dealt with robustly.
“It’s not just a bit of fun – it causes thousands of pounds worth of damage to crops and can have a far-reaching impact on the farmers’ livelihood.”
Mr Mixture was so happy with the service he has received from the officers in recent years that he wrote a letter to Farmers’ Weekly magazine, which was published in the June 18 issue.
When it comes to rural policing, Safer Neighbourhood Team officers and Rural Special Constables support the Constabulary’s Rural Operational Support Team (ROST).
The ROST consists of specialist officers in crimes concerning rural and agricultural issues, wildlife, the local environment and the county’s heritage. The ROST also deal with traveller liaison issues.
They support local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Intervention Officers and can investigate any crimes from badger bating, hare coursing, the theft of red diesel and nighthawking, to stolen plant equipment, criminal damage and the theft of scrap metal or lead from historical buildings.
If you would like to speak to a member of the ROST team or identify who your local rural safer neighbourhood officers are, please call the non-emergency number 101 and you will be put through to someone who can help you.
If a crime is in progress or there is danger to life, always dial 999.
For more information and advice on rural crime, visit our website here.