A MAJOR event to help farmers combat the multi-million pound scourge of rural crime is to be held in Worcestershire.

Organised by the NFU, it will be at the Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway on Thursday evening, January 30.

A farm security, property tagging and other essential guidance will be on offer from experts from the police and fire and rescue services. There will also be a chance for farmers to meet West Mercia Police’s safer neighbourhood team and gain essential guidance to help prevent crime, including fraud and cyber crime.

Along with fire prevention advice and security tips, farmers will have the chance to study the impact of a blaze and look at how they can work with and help the fire service. Free security products will also be available.

Emma Hamer, NFU Worcestershire county adviser, said: “Rural crime costs the West Midlands millions of pounds every year with tools, quad bikes and machinery regularly targeted, as well as fuel and livestock.

“Farm fires are also lethal, they put farmers and their stock at great risk as well as destroying buildings, feed and machinery which can bring a farm business to a standstill, causing many thousands of pounds worth of damage and leaving a huge clear up operation.

“The NFU works closely with the emergency services and we welcome the opportunity to speak with them further at this event and I would urge as many members as possible to attend, especially young farmers who are likely to be more technology savvy.

“The meetings will focus on prevention but also give farmers the right guidance in case they are the victims of crime or suffer a fire on farm. There are a lot of practical measures that can easily be put into place and many of these will be discussed at the event.

“This is also an excellent opportunity for members to make contacts within the Safer Neighbourhood Team.”

Last year the NFU also launched a new online service for farmers and growers to get advice on how to prevent and report rural crime.

The ‘Rural Crime Hub’ is a one-stop shop for farmers to access information about the best prevention measures, how to report crime, including who to call, and exclusive business advice for NFU members. Farmers and growers are urged to ensure they report rural crimes to the police or give information anonymously to the dedicated Crimestoppers hotline, run in partnership with the NFU.

Anyone can contact the line by calling 0800 783 0137 to speak to a trained agent or go online to ruralcrimehotline.co.uk

The event at the Lygon Arms will be held from 5pm to 8pm and free refreshments will be available.