THOSE living in the countryside must welcome Thames Valley Police’s commitment to fighting the criminals who steal from vulnerable and isolated farms.

The news that thieves have taken more than £1.4m in farm property in the last three years underlines the severity of the crime problem.

Farmers have been hit hard and still face the threat of losing valuable equipment and vital income. But the good news is police seem to be winning the war.

Thefts from farms have fallen considerably in the last year and farmers have told The Herald they are taking more security precautions than ever before.

Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, who was elected last November, has led the charge against rural crime and so far his campaign seems to be working.

But as he says the numbers of farm thefts are still too high and need to fall further.

The force last week promised 100 days of action against rural criminals and will run extra patrols and operations targeting known crime groups.

Let’s hope the police keep this action up because farm equipment is always going to be valuable and thieves are always looking to steal.