MEMBERS of Lancashire’s rural communities have been invited to a special conference aimed at combating countryside crime.

Lancashire Constabulary is holding the event at its Hutton headquarters on Monday 11 March between 9.30am and 4pm. It aims to offer residents and workers in rural areas with the advice and expertise to protect themselves from becoming a victim of crime.

The free event, which has been supported by a number of agencies including TRACKER Network UK and Datatag, will look at the national picture in relation to rural crime and will then focus on the issues affecting Lancashire.

Guests will learn what thieves look for when targeting a property – particularly for agricultural vehicles and plant machinery. They will also learn the measures they can take to avoid this, as well as getting the chance to view some of the latest security products available.

They will also be encouraged to work collectively with the police, through initiatives like Farm Watch and Rural Watch, to help identify, disrupt and prevent criminals targeting the Lancashire countryside.

Superintendent Andy Webster, who leads on rural crime for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Rural crime can be very costly for the victims, affecting them not just personally but also having financial implications that can affect their livelihoods.

“Due to the remote locations of many rural properties, it can be easy for residents and workers to develop a false sense of security – so crime prevention is not always their top focus. Thieves are aware of this and that there is less chance that they will be seen.

“The intention of this conference is to focus on tackling rural crime together by highlighting issues that could affect those living and working in rural areas, to offer advice on how to avoid falling victim to crime and to provide reassurance to our rural communities that we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent and detect these offences.

“We work very closely with both rural communities and farming associations to tackle this type of crime and are increasingly using social media in order to keep people informed about what is going on in their areas.  One of the most recent initiatives is the use of “In The Know”. This is a free messaging service which allows the police and other agencies to send out a range of information from local crime alerts to job opportunities.

“Countryside crime remains low in Lancashire and in the last 12 months has actually fallen by almost nine per cent. We want it to remain that way and we will continue to target offenders, with the help of our rural residents and workers. I urge people to work with us to reduce crime – remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us.”

Anyone who would like to attend the conference can contact Lorraine Ellwood on 01772 413935.

For further information about In the Know or to sign up, visit

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