Farmers and landowners from across Hertsmere, St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield came together to discuss rural issues at a Barn Meet held at in Radlett this week (Wednesday 25 May).
Organised by the Bushey and Radlett Safer Neighbourhood Team, police and partner agencies were able to share what work is being done to support and protect rural communities.
The Barn Meet event was held at Blackbirds Farm in Kemprow. Guest speakers on the day included colleagues from the constabulary’s specialist Rural Operational Support Team (ROST), Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, Chief Constable Charlie Hall and the National Farmers Union.
There were discussions about fly-tipping, theft of farming equipment and off-road biking. Topics such as trespassing and livestock worrying were also covered.
Representatives from Hertsmere Borough Council and officers from policing teams in St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield were also in attendance, as well as Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor John Graham.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire David Lloyd said: “I go to these barn meetings to hear first hand of those issues affecting farmers and rural communities, and to let them know what is being done and to find out where more work needs to be done.
“I know how people in remote locations can feel frightened and intimidated by criminals who come on to private land to steal, fly-tip or hare course. Hertfordshire now has more officers than ever before and I need to ensure that rural areas see the benefit of the uplift in police numbers.
“My fly-tipping fund pays to clear up rubbish dumped on private land and contributes half the cost of target hardening areas where there are repeat problems.”
Bushey and Radlett Neighbourhood Sergeant Iain Brunt said: “Barn meets have always proved popular and are a great way to engage directly with our rural communities. They face issues which are very different to our urban communities and, whilst we have good working relationships with farmers and landowners in Hertsmere, Barn Meets enable us to bring them together to talk collectively.
“This was the first meeting we’ve held since the pandemic, and we will be looking to hold more in the future. In the meantime, if anyone has issues, they are welcome to contact us for advice.”
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