Residents living on the Shropshire and Staffordshire border were able to raise crime concerns and receive security solutions during a police surgery hosted by Bradford Estates.
Working in partnership with the West Mercia and Staffordshire police constabularies, the landed estates business, which stewards 12,000 acres in the area, offered people living nearby the opportunity to call in to speak to officers in person about their concerns.
The ‘drop-in’ session, which took place on Wednesday 14th September at the Bradford Estates Office in Weston-under-Lizard, gave local people the opportunity to discuss any police related issues and take home free crime deterrent solutions.
Residents were able to raise concerns on issues ranging from theft and fly tipping to wildlife crime with West Mercia Police Rural and Business Crime Officer Graham Donaldson and Staffordshire Police Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer Louise Jones.
The drop-in session was the latest anti-crime event to take place after a virtual neighbourhood watch WhatsApp group was established by Bradford Estates two years ago to combat crimes such as fly-tipping and hare coursing. The modern-day neighbourhood watch group has around 60 members made up of residents, businesses, Bradford Estates team members, farmers and West Mercia and Staffordshire police officers.
Funded by Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia John Campion, a range of deterrents including SmartWater forensic marking solution, Faraday keyless entry pouches, vehicle signage and property marking kits were available for residents to take away during the recent session.
John Campion said: “The public regularly tell me that they are concerned about theft and fly tipping. It’s great that these regular drop-in sessions are so successful as I am committed to strengthening the ties between West Mercia Police and the communities they serve.
“Face-to-face sessions are a brilliant opportunity for residents to talk to officers about crime in their area and also equip themselves with the latest deterrents. As PCC, I proudly support funding for solutions like SmartWater, as they play a key role in helping people to be safe and feel safe. It’s this type of proactive work that helps to ensure I continue to see crime and the harm it causes fall in West Mercia.”
West Mercia Police Rural and Business Crime Officer Graham Donaldson said: “Thank you to Bradford Estates for hosting the event. These regular sessions are a great opportunity to engage with the local community and address any rural crime concerns they may have.
“We work very closely with our colleagues to ensure cross border policing is in force and encourage members of the public to report any issues so that we can build a picture of the area. The drop-in sessions together with the neighbourhood WhatsApp group have made a huge difference and helped to tackle numerous offences.”
Bradford Estates Managing Director Alexander Newport added: “We work in close partnership with the West Mercia and Staffordshire police forces and urge our residents, businesses, and farmers across Bradford Estates to continue to remain vigilant when it comes to matters of rural crime.
“Staging events like the police surgery is important to Bradford Estates as we work to our 100-year plan based upon creating close working relationships with local partners to shape a stronger future for our community.”
Bradford Estates, which draws upon more than 900 years of history to act as custodians of 12,000 acres of land in the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire, plan to stage another police surgery in early 2023.