Farmers can help police tackle rural crime, says Cath Crowther, East regional director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA East).

Rural crime continues to blight many farmers and landowners in our region.

It was, therefore, encouraging to have Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable and the Norfolk police and crime commissioner join a panel discussion in the CLA marquee at the Royal Norfolk Show this summer.

It was an opportunity for them to provide an update on how they are working to tackle some of the pressing rural crime issues facing those who live and work in the countryside.

We have had similar conversations with police representatives at the Suffolk Show too, and we work hard to ensure we have good lines of communication with all police forces, so that the concerns of our members, who are a mix of farmers, landowners and rural businesses, can be addressed in a timely manner.

GPS thefts continue to be one area of constant concern, with police urging farmers and landowners to remain vigilant across East Anglia.

They advise that when possible to do so, remove GPS systems from your machinery and store them inside at night. They appreciate this is not ideal, but you’re much less likely to become a victim of this crime by doing so.

If removal is not possible, police recommend having your GPS tracker and system forensically marked, installing CCTV, and locking away tractors at night.

This is very much about preventative measures though, and the CLA has highlighted the need for police to commit sufficient resource on bringing those who are responsible for this criminality to justice.

Other topics that have been raised with police forces in recent weeks include fly-tipping, hare coursing and other agricultural, heritage and wildlife crimes.

One of the key messages I have heard from police recently is the need for all rural crime to be reported to them.

It may only be something small, but by reporting everything, the police can build up a bank of intelligence which helps them to understand where their resources should be best deployed.