Rural security discussions

RURAL POLICING TALKS: From left, FUW Caernarfonshire county executive officer Gwynedd Watkin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, FUW Anglesey county executive officer Heidi Williams, acting FUW Denbigh and Flint county executive officer Gwennan Williams, FUW Meirionnydd county executive officer Huw Jones and North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Griffith.

RURAL POLICING TALKS: From left, FUW Caernarfonshire county executive officer Gwynedd Watkin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, FUW Anglesey county executive officer Heidi Williams, acting FUW Denbigh and Flint county executive officer Gwennan Williams, FUW Meirionnydd county executive officer Huw Jones and North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Griffith.

FUW county executive officers from anglesey, Caernarfon, Denbigh and Flint as well as Meirionnydd have recently met with Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, arfon Jones, to discuss rural security issues – including theft of farm machinery, vehicles and also farm stock. The meeting was held at the Police headquarters in Colwyn Bay and North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner ann Griffith also attended. FUW Meirionnydd county executive officer huw Jones said: “This was our first meeting with arfon Jones since his election as Police and Crime Commissioner in May this year and I would like to thank the Commissioner for his time to discuss issues of rural policing and security with us. It is a very important topic for us at the FUW and indeed all of the agricultural community.” In addition the delegation discussed the draft Police and Crime Plan for the next four years which will set out objectives for the force area, which will be issued for consultation soon. “Chief Constables are responsible for the operational matters but the PCC’s set the local policing priorities and decide how Council Tax is spent on crime and policing issues. “as a union we welcome the opportunity to be involved in these discussions,” said FUW Caernarfon county executive officer Gwynedd Watkin. “We also had a long discussion on using the most recent technology to detect and combat crime in rural areas, such as cameras and smartphones and stressed that it is important to see police officers being present in livestock markets,” added Gwynedd Watkin. The discussions further highlighted that the Police and Crime Commissioner was determined to retain the current structure for rural policing and that this is strengthened by three Police Community Support Officers recently appointed to the role – a move the FUW welcomed. acting FUW Denbigh and Flint county executive officer Gwennan Williams pointed out the importance of on-line watch schemes, saying: “We discussed the benefits of on-line watch schemes and we are keen for these to be re-established. “Such schemes enable individuals or groups to communicate easily with the police, ensuring that messages regarding crimes are relayed to the agricultural community where there are obvious benefits.” Road safety and and the threat of ‘Tractor distractors’ – tractor drivers using smart phones on roads, a topic of great importance to rural road users, was recently given a new push by the anglesey branch of the FUW as they launched a new road safety campaign in cooperation with North Wales Police – “arrive alive don’t text and drive!” The campaign is aimed at tractor drivers and those driving farm machinery on public roads. FUW anglesey county executive officer heidi Williams said: “Using a mobile phone, sat nav or any similar device whilst driving means that your attention is distracted from the road and that, as we all know, is incredibly dangerous. “It was good to talk to the Commissioner about this initiative, especially as studies over the years have shown that those of us who are using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.”

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