What is Farm Watch?
Farm Watch is a partnership between Solihull Borough's farming community and the police to encourage vigilance and communication, and to minimise rural crime across the region.
Following the launch of Farm Watch in 2008, more than 70 farms have signed up to the scheme and are now benefiting from membership.
By communicating with each other, and sharing intelligence, we can prevent many crimes from happening in the first place. All information is valuable to us, no matter how trivial it may seem, as any emerging patterns can be acted upon and issues dealt with quickly.
So what are Farm Watch’s benefits?
- Access to our Voice Connect Relay System (see below). VCRS enables us to instantly communicate local issues, crime trends, or advice to members;
- Helping influence operations and initiatives designed to tackle recurrent issues;
- Sharing and receiving farm security best practice with fellow members;
- Being part of an information network between the police and Farm Watch members in relation to specific incidents;
- Being part of a vigilant community that, in partnership with the police, contributes towards creating a safer environment;
- Direct access to Solihull Police’s dedicated Farm Watch liaison officer PC Andrew Timmins;
- A Farm Watch scheme induction pack, which includes a highly visible ‘Farm Watch’ sign to put up at your farm, plus crime prevention advice.
Aims of Farm Watch:
- Reduce opportunities for rural crime, and reducing the fear of crime;
- Strengthen the farming community and empowering its members to play a part in protecting their property;
- Improve two-way communication between the police and the farming community;
- Introduce a multi-agency approach to tackle rural issues;
Naturally, Farm Watch doesn’t encourage members to put themselves at risk by tackling issues directly – instead, simply to observe, make a note of descriptive details, and phone the police straight away.
Voice Connect Relay System
This is a free, computerised system used to circulate messages of suspicious incidents, crime trends and crime prevention information to the mobile phone or email address of members. All members’ details are secure within this system under the Data Protection Act.
Getting in Touch
In an emergency, and if you witness a crime occurring, please dial 999.
For all non-emergencies, please call the West Midlands Police helpdesk on 0345 113 5000 and ask for your local police station.
If you have any other issues, i.e. ongoing suspicious behaviour or any information you wish to pass onto PC TIMMINS, please call 0845 113 5000 extension 7928 6264, or email: email@example.com
Useful Contact Numbers
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council - 0121 704 6000
Solihull Environmental Health - 0121 704 6000
NFU (National Farmers Union) - 024 7685 8500
DEFRA (Dept for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) - 08459 335577
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