Rural crime crackdown for national day of action

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Arrests, warrants, vehicle seizures, anti-flytipping patrols and farm visits were just some of the activities carried out during a recent day of action tackling rural crime.

Co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs' Council, the event took place on Thursday, November 8, with officers in Northamptonshire carrying out operations targeting everything from hare coursing and organised crime to fly tipping the theft of machinery.

Partnership work was undertaken between Northamptonshire Police, local authorities including Daventry District Council (DDC), organisations representing rural residents, landowners and businesses, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, and neighbouring police forces.

Inspector Kevin Byrne, Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector for Daventry and South Northants, said: “As a largely rural county, we appreciate how much rural crime affects Northamptonshire. The day of action was a huge team effort from all those involved across the force and our partners, and I’m really pleased with the results.

“Alongside our proactive policing, we worked with partners to carry out visits to farms and businesses around the county providing reassurance and advice, listening to their concerns and really showing them that we’re out there, we’re interested in rural crime and we take it seriously.”

As well as providing crime prevention advice during visits to rural residents and businesses, police also handed out ‘pull me over at night’ stickers to help protect trailers, equipment and machinery against theft.

Anti fly-tipping operations were led by Daventry District Council and South Northamptonshire Council, including patrols of fly-tipping hotspots.

Councillor Alan Hills, Community, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder who represents Daventry District Council for the Community Safety Partnership said:

“Daventry is a largely rural district and the majority of the crime takes place in the rural parts of the area.

“We were very happy to be working in partnership with Northamptonshire Police on this day of action, but would reassure people that this will not be the only day of the year when rural crime is in our sights.”

PC John Hutchings took part in a cross-county series of driver and vehicle checks with partners including Leicestershire Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

He said: “We have been stopping vehicles in Thrapston, Oundle, Rushden, and Moulton, carrying out checks resulting in three arrests. There drivers reported for 35 offences, 10 seized vehicles and the gathering of a lot of intelligence in the fight against rural crime.

“Our DVSA colleagues also issued 32 immediate prohibitions, taking unsafe vehicles off the roads. Working together we’ve realised our goal of targeting those who use the roads to commit rural crime, and made sure those using rural roads are doing so legally and safely.”

Inspector Byrne added his thanks for the patience of drivers affected by the police operations.

Another partner in the day’s activity was the CLA, which represents owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “Those living in rural, and often isolated locations, can feel particularly vulnerable to being a victim of crime. This national day of action will hopefully raise awareness of the seriousness of the issue and the impact it has on those who live and work in the countryside.”