Twenty young farming students in Cumbria have received certificates as part of an safety initiative launched in June.
The scheme offers local Young Farmers the opportunity to play a key role in helping to keep farming and rural communities safe though a unique training package.
The package gives Young Farmers practical suggestions that they can make when visiting local farms in their Club area that will encourage the famer to help prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime.
The twenty farm studies students from Kendal College helped to review the training content that was developed by the Police Crime Prevention Academy from an original idea of Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association in partnership with Cumbria Young Farmers Clubs and NFU Mutual.
The students were presented the certificates by the High Sheriff of Cumbria at Wigton Auction Mart.
The ‘Helping to prevent Farm Crime’ training module has now been passed to the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs to be piloted prior to adoption as one of the ‘Curve’ modules that Young Farmers’ Clubs across the UK can access.
Joe Murray, Chair of Cumbia Neighbourhood watch said “These Students will hopefully be the first of many to receive the Crime Prevention Training not only in Cumbria but throughout the Country as well.
“This is a positive step in the right direction and has the potential to impact greatly in preventing thefts of high value machinery and equipment from the Farming Community and the consequences associated with it.
“Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association are proud to be actively associated with this project.”
Robbie Tuer, Cumbria YFC County Chair said “Cumbria YFC was keen to be involved in this project right from the start as rural crime is a very real and worrying threat for many of our members and their families.
“The Farm Crime Prevention initiative will give our young farmers the confidence and tools to be able to work with farmers and make a real difference in their local communities.”
Bob Henderson at NFU Mutual: “Cumbria’s young farmers are doing a great job helping fellow farmers protect their machinery, farmyards and livestock from increasingly determined thieves.
“As the insurer of most of Cumbria’s farms we know the disruption, cost and anxiety that rural crime causes and are delighted to support this initiative and hope it will soon be replicated in other areas.”
Chief Inspector Lee Skelton from Cumbria Constabulary said “The 20 young farmers will now help support Cumbria’s large farming community who unfortunately are targeted by criminals given them practical prevention advice.
“There are simple steps that farmers can take to deter criminals from targeting them, this initiative will give people practical actions they can take to protect their property.
“We continue to ask that people report any information or suspicious activity and persons to us within out rural community.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Cumbria is one of the most rural counties in the country so it’s fantastic that we now have 20 young farmers trained in crime prevention, I am extremely grateful to all those who have stepped forward to support their communities in this way, I hope others may feel inspired to join them, the more of us who can act as ‘eyes and ears’ in our neighbourhood the safer they will be.
“Farmers and rural residents know their areas better than anyone and really understand the impact of crime on their homes and businesses, so they are perfectly placed to help protect themselves and others from being targeted by criminals.
“I look forward to seeing what the young farmers achieve as part of their crime prevention work and I would urge the public to continue to report any crimes and anything suspicious in their areas to 101 or 999 in emergencies.”