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.