As soon as a report of a potential crime is made to us, we check the facts and location, then if appropriate we issue an alert email to our members. Our membership includes landowners, keepers and police officers and many people who work and live in our rural environment – people who care about preventing crime in our area.
Experience in recent years has demonstrated that highly professional dog thieves are at work in the Thames Valley area. The main targets have been working dogs in rural areas, particularly spaniels and terriers. Labradors are also popular with the villains.
We can all help reduce the blight that has visited us in recent times. Poachers, thieves and vandals are often presented as petty criminals – there is nothing petty about the theft of farming equipment worth many thousands of pounds. If you see something suspicious, make a report to the Police and to us and we will circulate the details to our members.
We are very proud to say that we have an excellent relationship with the Police and wholeheartedly suppport their efforts to combat rural crime. We recently received a letter of support from Sara Thornton, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police; we have quoted from the letter with her kind permission.
“Dogwatch is a really effective partnership between Thames Valley Police and the local community. While the initial concerns were about theft of dogs in rural areas the scheme now deals with all kinds of rural crime. Rural crime might be less frequent than crime in urban areas but its effect can be substantial. For example, equipment and machinery stolen from farms and businesses can result in significant loss of income and undermine essential local services. By joining Dogwatch you will receive advice and information and pass on valuable intelligence to the police. In doing so you will play a part in protecting your community.”
It is our aim to help the Police wherever and whenever we can, to reduce crime and the effect it has on the rural community in the Thames Valley. We are not a replacement for the Police and you should always report a crime in progress by dialling 999. Please do what you can to assist the Police in their job.