Rural Affairs

Farm Horse Watch Data Form

The Importance of reporting Poaching/hare coursing – we know that poaching and hare coursing is under reported. We understand that there is a lack of confidence in police that the matter will be dealt with. However, it is really important for us to have an accurate and detailed picture of the offending in order for us to target the problem effectively. We may not be able to solve an individual incident, but if we have more people reporting we will inevitably get more information. The more reports the more we are able to direct resources. Remember, if it is not reported to the police, we don’t know about it, therefore it isn’t a problem on paper! We know there is a problem, but without the information we can do very little about it. With the demand on current policing, we need to be specific and targeted in order to be effective. Our advice is if you have seen any suspicious vehicles, padlocks being cropped on gates, vehicle tyre marks in fields / gateways and/or dead livestock with bite marks, report it.

What we need to know in our rural communities regarding poaching – locations (what3words are really useful in rural areas, as a post code isn’t accurate enough), times and descriptions of incidents, vehicle description – make model, colour, distinctive markings. Have any dogs been seen, how many and what do they look like? You can pass on important intelligence via 101 or text information via our FARMWATCH text number 07492888109 (no crimes to be reported via this text number). We also encourage reporting, if found after the incident i.e in the morning, through the Avon and Somerset Website –  alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

I also have a link regarding new legislation and advice from our team.


Aims of the Horse & Farm Watch Scheme

•To reduce local opportunities for rural crime.

•To reinforce the community spirit so that everyone can contribute towards the protection of their property by mutual co-operation and communication.

•To introduce early warning systems in farming and countryside areas.

•To improve the intelligence flow between the agricultural communities and the police.

How the aims are achieved

•Text, email and landline voicemail alerts for members of the community.

•Intelligence gathered by police on all farm-related crimes and suspicious incidents.

•Visits from local PCSOs.

•Crime Reduction Officers can offer advice on securing property and, under certain circumstances, will visit farms to conduct a crime prevention survey.

Benefits of the Scheme

•A reduction in crime and the fear of crime impacting on the community.

•Suspicious people and vehicles can quickly be reported to the police and other members of the countryside communities.

•Information and advice can be quickly and efficiently circulated between the police and the community.

•A crime vigilant community in partnership with the police will create a safer environment.

If you have members in the parish who have farms or small holdings and have not yet signed up please provide this link, further details on how to join can be found within on link – searching FARMWATCH. If you want to put someone forward from the parish council to sign up I have attached the sign-up sheet, which you can then email it to This is out unit email address, which can also be used for enquiries, but is not a crime reporting mechanism and is not monitored 24/7.  

Security advice and protecting your property

Restricting access:

Make sure hedges and fences are in good condition. Gates should be secured with strong padlocks and chains. Consider preventing standard vehicle access to fields with earth banks, ditches and obstacles. Communication – between your rural neighbours is vital, inform your neighbours if an arranged shoot is to take place to prevent false reports to Police.


Any suspicious activity to the Police ASAP, if such activity is sighted please contact us on 101 or 999 if the activity is currently happening, with as much detail as possible – Location (WHAT3WORDS) Vehicle details, persons involved. Please remain vigilant and report all activity.

Advice: We recommend the use of security products which are compliant with the appropriate British Standard, in addition look for products that carry the Sold Secure or Secured by Design accreditation. These products have been tested and proven to resist a considerable level of attack. Suppliers of suitable accredited products can be found via these websites: