Farms, villages and rural communities have long found themselves the focus of criminal activity because of their relative isolation from city-based police forces. In Essex, getting a grip with the problem is the responsibility of the Rural Engagement Team (RET),

This uniformed outfit works out of Police HQ, Chelmsford. Staffed by two sergeants and eight constables, the team covers the entire county and are specialists in rural crime and engagement. Their focus is in five key areas:

  • High value theft (tractors, farm machinery, GPS units)
  • Large scale fly tipping
  • Wildlife crime (hare coursing and poaching)
  • Rural road safety
  • Unlawful encampments

The RET attend, investigate and advise on a whole range of rural issues outside of these areas and work alongside local Community Policing and Local Policing Teams.

Your Community Policing Teams remain your first point of contact for daily issues such as anti-social behaviour and minor law and order problems. The RET, meanwhile, provides a more focused response to issues community police teams may not have experience of dealing with or need support and advice tackling.

The proactive nature of Rural Engagement Team means it is out every day patrolling the county and meeting residents in with rural communities. This week the team has been in Uttlesford targeting dangerous driving, fly tipping and rural crime.

The team also attends community events as they are keen to expand their engagement and ensure they have good links with every parish. Community events allow the team to meet and speak to residents in rural areas. Look out for announcements on future meet-ups on Twitter: EP_RURAL.

They also publish a monthly newsletter, where you can find out about what the team have been doing and learn about upcoming events to meet them. The Parish Council will be posting the newsletter on the policing page of this website.

You can contact RET directly by emailing or calling 101 x42074973.


Stansted Community Special Constable Steve Dale provides a report on patrols carried out in the village during the months of April and May involving problem parking, abandoned cars and support to SpeedWatch.

Community Reassurance

Calming Words

Some words of appreciation are in order for our local policing team, who have been busy calming waters at the Youth Centre.

The centre on Lower Street has been disrupted by youths from Bishop Stortford and Harlow in recent weeks. 

In a textbook operation of community policing, Special Constable Steve Dale and Police Community Support Officer Alex Stewart regularly visited the spot to build up a rapport with youngsters, playing pool and offering a friendly ear, while offering advice to the centre’s staff. 

The Youth Centre has reported the police officers’ reassuring presence has been enough to discourage troublemakers from outside Stansted returning.

Such incidents not only remind us of the need to fund local police services – Steve and Alex are both parish-funded we might add – but once again underline the importance of forging good relations with our younger residents.

So forgive us for taking this chance to encourage anyone under the age of 18 living in Stansted (or attending a local school or college) to consider joining either the Youth Club or our Youth Council.