Police have been speaking to farmers to see how they can reduce rural crime.

Hertfordshire Constabulary's new rural strategy has been implemented because there has been an increase in crime.

They have warned people to invest in security measures, such as CCTV, to act as a deterrent.

St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Jon Roche said: “So we have been engaging and listening to our local farmers and landowners to see how the police can work more effectively to help reduce rural crime.

“We have now put together a bespoke strategy to deal with rural crime in our Community Safety Partnership .”

As part of the police’s new strategy more officers are being trained and vehicles such as 4x4s will be used to deal with rural crimes such as plant theft, hare coursing and fly tipping.

A new specialist officer role will also be created, the Rural and Wildlife Officer who works with the new Rural Operational Support Team will focus on rural crimes.

Inspector Roche added: “When a crime occurs in a rural area it has the potential to have a significant impact not only on the victim themselves but in many case their livelihood and the community as a whole.

“We have put special measures in place to fully equip our officers to deal with victims of rural crime and catch offenders.”

This new strategy comes as the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Safety Justice Plan is being implemented.

This new plan is supposed to put the ‘victims at the centre’ and is ‘public focussed’.

Inspector Roche also encouraged landowners to join schemes like Rural Watch and Heritage Watch via the online watch link at www.owl.co.uk.