Sunday, September 23, 2018

Police rural crime team expands in Derbyshire

February 1, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

A rural crime team in Derbyshire has helped resolve crimes worth £120,000 in its first six months.

The dedicated police team, which is based at Matlock, has been at the forefront of a series of intelligence-led operations to tackle rural crime threats. They include illegal fish poaching, hare coursing and thefts of quad bikes, tractors and trailers.

The team has doubled in size to accommodate extra investigative work. Shift patterns of team members have been rejigged to maximise police visibility – with officers on duty during the evenings and early hours when rural residents are at their most vulnerable.

Crime prevention

The team launched in March 2017 to help protect rural communities across Derbyshire. It is said to be leading the way in the introduction of new crime prevention methods such as diesel dye and Tec Tracer forensic livestock marking to help protect farm property.

Upon launch, the team was composed of an inspector and two police constables. But due to its success, the team has been extended and is now comprised of an inspector, sergeant, four police constables, the wildlife and rural coordinator and a police support volunteer.

Special constables are also attached to the team and have been involved in several operations while the team also leans on the expertise of the force’s 27 wildlife crime specialist officers. It followed a pledge to ensure resources were in place to tackle rural crime quickly and effectively.

Rural communities

Derbyshire police commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “Derbyshire’s Rural Crime Team is everything we hoped it would be – passionately fighting the crimes that bring misery to our rural communities.”

The team had improved communication between police and rural communities. The support volunteer has also been working in partnership with the NFU to attend Bakewell Agricultural Market every Monday to engage with farmers.

Mr Dhindsa said: “In particular, we’ve seen an increase in membership to our Farm Watch scheme which is a fantastic crime prevention tool helping to warn farmers of live crime threats. Residents are full of praise for the team.”

Between March and September 2017, the team completed investigations into 34 rural crimes. They included the theft of cattle, criminal damage, theft of scrap metal, burglaries and theft of agricultural equipment amounting to £123,000 in losses.

Since then, the team has investigated many more rural crimes. The team has also been able to reopen rural crimes that had previously been closed to pursue new lines of enquiry which have often led to a successful outcome.

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