Tree surgeon calls for action on rural crime

by | Jun 14, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

A tree surgeon has called for more to be done to tackle rural crime after he had more than £5,000 worth of equipment stolen from his business in Kingstone.

Paul Wright has had to put his life on hold as he comes to terms with having all his power tools stolen from a secure outhouse.

The thieves made off with tree surgery and forestry equipment valued at £5,500 on June 2 between 9am and 4pm, leaving Mr Wright unable to continue with work for his business, Longfield Services.

And his was the third to be targeted within two days in Kingstone – power tools were also stolen from a workshop in Webton Court and an empty shipping container was broken into in another incident .

Mr Wright, 57, said: “I think the thieves are highly organised people who are watching to know when we vacate the premises.

“Although I don’t want to slate the police – they were very efficient in coming out and speaking to us – they are basically filing it away.

“They look at it as a commercial premises with no visible forensic evidence and it is just being shelved.

Personally I think everyone needs to push rural policing. It is currently under-funded and underresourced.”
Mr Wright, who is a parish councillor, doesn’t know how much his insurance will cover and may have to get a loan to start again.

He added: “In the rural areas there needs to be more of a police presence. They do the very best with what they have – clearly they don’t have the manpower.”

He’s taking part in the current rural crime survey, organised by the National Rural Crime Network.

It’s the first piece of work of its kind in Britain, aiming to provide comprehensive details of how big anaffects, and what communities feel about local policing.

West Mercia’s deputy police and crime commissioner, Barrie Sheldon, said: “The more people take part, the stronger our collective voice will be, and the louder that voice is, the more the government will have to listen. “ Commenting on Mr Wright’s case, Supt Sue Thomas said rural crime could be “devastating” for farmers and small businesses.

She added: “The alliance of Warwickshire and West Mercia makes us the largest geographically land-locked policing area in the country, with a number of farming communities.

It is important we are equipped and prepared to tackle rural based crime, as well as be there to support those who have unfortunately become victims.

“In this particular incident, due to the lack of witnesses or forensic opportunities, the crime has been filed as no further action, until such time when new evidence may come to light.

We understand many of the items stolen, are branded with the Longfield Services logo, and we would encourage anyone who may have been offered these items for sale, or who may have any further details to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 434 of June 2.

“There are number of rural watch schemes in place and last year a rural crime conference was held looking at how we can further develop our response to it”.

For more information on the crime strategy along with advice visit

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