Blenheim Palace hosts second successful farming conference for local community


Over 100 people connected to the local agricultural community met at Blenheim Palace last week (November 9th) for its second Rural Crime Farming Conference, held in partnership with Thames Valley Police.

Guests heard from a range of expert speakers to discuss a myriad relevant issues and subjects, including crime prevention, business planning, and mental health.

Speakers included Robert Courts MP, on the importance of local food production; Matthew Barber PCC, who explained the high priority he places on rural crime in his policing plan; Clarkson’s Farm star Kaleb Cooper discussed diversification; Datatag outlined how to protect farming machinery from theft; and Toby Morris from Windrush Business Services covered the vital issue of cash flow for farmers.

Inspector Stuart Hutchings, from Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Taskforce, who gave an overview of the current crime trends affecting farming, commented: “It’s vital for police to have a close relationship with the communities we serve and hopefully this annual event supports their efforts and that of the wider farming community.

“Tackling rural crime is all of our responsibility and by working closer together, we can create a hostile environment for offenders. Tackling all types of rural crime is a priority for Thames Valley Police.”

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, who provided an update on his priority to tackle rural crime, said: “Events such as the Rural Crime Farming Conference provide both myself and Thames Valley Police the opportunity to hear first-hand about the issues currently facing rural communities.

“The Rural Crime Taskforce continues to see positive results in tackling rural crime across the Thames Valley. Rural crime remains a key priority in my policing strategy and, by working together, we can ensure that rural communities are kept safe.”