A businesses association has met with the police and crime commissioner to see how the new five-year crime plan will help tackle rural crime.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) held a meeting with Andrew Snowden, with members airing their concerns about rural crime such as machinery and fuel theft; illegal hare coursing and associated legislative changes; organised crime; and fly-tipping in the county.

The event, supported by Lancashire’s Rural Crime Unit, was attended by various CLA representatives, including farmers and rural businesses from the surrounding area.

There was positive news on the extended coverage of rural policing teams across Lancashire and the promise of a new rural inspector for the force.

A year ago, new rural task force teams across Lancashire, based at Clitheroe, Waterfoot, Morecambe, Garstang, and Ormskirk, were introduced to proactively tackle various types of rural crime in the surrounding areas.

Mr Snowden said: "I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with the Country Landowners Association and members of our rural communities to discuss local issues and concerns.

"Our rural task forces are already making huge strides in tackling issues such as wildlife crime and trespassing as well as the theft of machinery with over £1m worth of stolen plant and machinery already recovered this year.

"I will continue to invest in rural policing, with an additional £700k from next year's budget going towards tackling rural crime and I will work closely with the Constabulary to ensure they have the skills and resources needed to tackle rural crime and to keep the people who live and work in our beautiful countryside safe."

CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas said: “It was a positive meeting which highlighted the very real impact crime has on rural businesses and communities across Lancashire.

“Work undertaken by Lancashire’s Rural Crime Unit is exemplary, especially given the vast area that they cover. The CLA is committed to working with our partners, and we urge farmers, businesses and the wider public to report all incidents so that police can build up a more complete picture and then allocate appropriate resources.”