Members of Cheshire National Farmers Union had the opportunity to meet with the county’s police and crime commissioner David Keane.

County chairman Ray Brown, Cheshire council delegate Stuart Yarwood and county advisor Helen Wainwright met with Mr Keane to discuss rural crime and how they can work better together to tackle it.

Cheshire is 919 square miles, with just over one million people, 440,000 households with an average age of 40.4 years. Within this it has 238 parish councils so it’s a large area to police with many different issues.

Rural crime is an issue which affects many farmers and Mr Keane stressed he wanted his police force to be pro-active with a local accountability.

Ray Brown said: “The rural network is a fantastic eyes and ears but it’s essential that the local officers are known to the community and that they have the confidence in the police so that incidences are reported.”

The group discussed with Mr Keane many rural issues from policing numbers, rural vehicle availability, hare coursing to stray livestock.

The group explained to Mr Keane about how livestock are registered and movements recorded and where to find out who owns cattle as stray animals is often something the police come across but don’t know who to contact.

Mr Keane discussed his police and crime plan which sets out his vision for the Cheshire police for the next four years with a focus on community policing with the correct resources in the right places.

Following the meeting Mr Keane said: “I was really pleased to get the chance to meet with members of Cheshire NFU. It was a great opportunity to further my understanding of the issues important to farmers and the rural community and speak directly to NFU representatives.

“I was pleased to be able to outline the vision set out in my police and crime plan and I look forward to a working with the NFU in the years to come to keep our communities safe."