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Mayoral Support for Rural Crime Policing Team

Community, Mayor's Press Releases

Photo of Mayor Cllr Paul Holbrook at the Cattle Market site with Sussex Police's Rural Crime Team 

The Town Council is supporting Sussex Police to combat crime in rural areas in and around Hailsham, by providing public information to residents and engaging with the farming community.

The Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Paul Holbrook, regularly visits the Hailsham Livestock Market site to engage with local farmers and members of Sussex Police’s Rural Crime Team.

The Rural Crime Team was formed in 2020 following the precept increase acquired by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne, and aims to serve the rural community, increase confidence and encourage reporting through preventing crime and carrying out proactive investigations.

With 62% of Sussex’s area dedicated to farming and a significant proportion being in the South Downs National Park, Sussex is defined as ‘significantly rural’ by DEFRA (2011).

The team specialises in agricultural, environmental, heritage and wildlife crime and dog theft, and takes a targeted approach to tackling rural crime based on the needs of each of the three policing divisions of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex.

Made up of one inspector, two sergeants, twelve constables and six Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), the team operates out of bases at Midhurst (West Sussex) and Heathfield (East Sussex) to serve the county.

Acting Sergeant from the Heathfield Team, Carlo Leone said: “Events like this give the Team the opportunity to talk directly to our community face-to-face. This enables us to share important information and intelligence as well as provide crime prevention advice to a community often vulnerable to acquisitive criminals.”

Town Mayor Cllr Paul Holbrook, delighted to meet members of the Team and local farming representatives commented: “The Rural Crime Team is dedicated to the delivery of it policing presence in local rural communities, with its core objectives including the encouragement of better engagement with people in rural areas, giving them increased confidence to actively report crimes, and disseminating effective communication with rural communities in Hailsham’s surrounding areas.”

”I am delighted to witness for myself the hard work already carried out by the Sussex Police and National Farmers’ Union in combating rural crime. It’s crucial they engage with rural communities so everyone concerned can fully understand the challenges involved in rural policing.”

“Such engagement helps to improve reporting, response and results, plus they are an opportunity for representatives of communities affected by or prone to rural crime to effectively engage with multiple stakeholders who can help protect their homes, businesses and livelihoods.”

Wealden district councillor for Hailsham, Neil Cleaver commented: “It was good to see the Rural Crime Policing Team at the Cattle Market site, so farmers can speak to them in person regarding any issues they may face.”

Derek Cleaver, representing the Farming Community Network (FCN) said: “I volunteer for the FCN at the Hailsham Cattle Market regularly. The FCN exists to help farmers and landowners with any problem, including health bereavement, family issues and other concerns relating to farming – from money to rent, from farm equipment and farm buildings to land. We have a great helpline for all types of problems, available 24/7 as the FCN is nationwide.”

“I help to link the police up with the Hailsham Cattle Market and will continue to work very closely with them in the future.”

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: