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Surrey Police continue to tackle rural crime during lockdown

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Surrey Police continue to tackle rural crime during lockdown

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 10:43am 12th May 2020.

Surrey Police is warning us to be vigilant about security in rural areas, saying they are still tackling crime in the countryside during the coronavirus lockdown. 

The force says with fewer people having been going out, the public might think that rural crime was reducing.

But it said it has noticed a number of issues over the last few weeks such as illegal fishing in areas including Guildford and Farncombe. 

Another area of concern is dog walkers not keeping their pet on a lead and livestock worrying.

Illegal fishing 

Some anglers are fishing without a licence,  which can be prosecuted as theft.

In England, you need a rod fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line

You must always carry your rod fishing licence with you while fishing or you could be prosecuted.

Separately - under the previous lockdown measures, fishing did not fall under daily exercise. 

However, from Wednesday (12 May) you can fish as long as you adhere to social distancing rules. 

walking dog

Livestock Worrying 

This is when a dog chases or attacks livestock and causes them harm, and is a criminal offence.

To avoid this, dog walkers should: 

  • Keep the dog on a lead near livestock
  • If they get agitated walk them away
  • Ensure the dog does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access
  • Make sure the dog is under control and will come back to you on your command
  • If it does not return to you then it should not be off the lead
  • If there is an encounter with your dog and livestock then try to contact the farmer first so they can get there as soon as possible, then make contact with the police.

Dog owners are reminded that it is their responsibility to keep their dog under full control at all times.

Landowners are encouraged to: 

  • Have clear signs that are visible at entrance points, warning dog walkers about livestock in the field
  • Check your livestock regularly in case any have been attacked
  • Maintain fences, walls and hedges to make it more difficult for dogs to get into grazing fields

Shed break-ins

The police advice is to secure any outbuildings on your property.

  • Fit a good quality padlock, which has a hardened steel shackle (the part which opens and passes through the hasp) to all shed doors. The shorter the shackle the better because it prevents the jaws of bolt croppers being able to be placed around it
  • Use anti-tamper screws or smear hard setting glue on the screw-heads of the door hinges
  • Lock or permanently fix windows shut and cover them, perhaps with an old curtain, so no one can see what is kept inside
  • Install a shed alarm and place a sticker in the window or on the door to advertise the fact
  • Mark valuable property, including lawnmowers, power tool, bikes, and garden furniture by permanently etching on your postcode and house number
  • Invest in a secure storage toolbox
  • Chain up bicycles, lawnmowers and motorbikes and secure them to a fixed point in the shed
  • Always lock vehicles when left outside and keep the keys in your possession
  • Consider storing more expensive electrical goods indoors or in a more secure building such as a brick-built structure
  • Make sure that fences/gates to your property are secure and remember to put any property away at night or when you go out during the day
  • Install outside lighting, which is only activated when people are present