A top policeman admitted more needed to be done to tackle issues like fly-tipping and anti-social riding on farmland.

Senior police officers and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd spoke to farmers, landowners and rural business owners at a barn meeting in Shenley on Monday.

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls said the force held the annual meeting so police could find out about the issues affecting rural communities first hand.

But he accepted the need to address criminals dumping rubbish or riding recklessly on farmland.

He said: “There have been prosecutions for fly-tipping and associated offences and the seizure of off-road vehicles, but more needs to be done.

"We are utilising advances in technology, including using drones to proactively patrol and deter criminals. We are also improving communication between forces and other agencies, so that we are better equipped to deal with the issues facing our rural communities.”

Chief Supt Nicholls added that that there has been an increase in the number of calls into the force control room.

Sgt Jamie Bartlett from the Rural Operational Support Team and Hertsmere Rural and Wildlife Officer Phil Tuck spoke about the work that is ongoing to resolve rural crime across Hertsmere.

The officers spoke about the use of Rural Special Constables - volunteers with full police powers - and regular operations including one that addresses off-road bikers who ride dangerously or illegally.

If riders are caught twice, police have powers to seize their bikes.

Mr Lloyd said: “Barn meets are a good opportunity for me to speak to rural communities and find out what is going on at a local level."

Hertsmere Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe said: “This was my first barn meet and I was really impressed with the joint working attitude presented by the different partner agencies.”

We will continue a multi-agency problem solving approach towards the concerns highlighted during the meeting, including fly-tipping, which blights our countryside and irresponsible and dangerous motorcyclists using land without permission. The rural community also expressed their appreciation of the on-going work completed by my rural team.”