Nottinghamshire Police have served warrants, carried out operations and gone out on dedicated patrols in a day set out to target rural crime.
The activities were linked in to a UK-wide ‘Day of Action’ on Thursday, November 8, promoted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to showcase the interventions taken by forces across the country.
However, the activities are all part of long-running operations that seek to combat and disrupt crime in rural areas across Nottinghamshire, and in partnership with neighbouring forces such as Lincolnshire Police.
Rural Crime Day of Action activities included
- Operation Transporter: an initiative to utilise effective ANPR, roads policing and local officers to tackle cross-border criminality and seeks to stop vehicles used for criminal purposes. Police stopped 30 vehicles and examined 25, and issued drivers with traffic offence report forms. Two drivers were reported for tachograph offences (exceeding driver hours), two defective tyres were found, one driver was reported for speeding, and another with no insurance. Two vehicles were found to have no MOT, three with no number plate fitted, one HGV was overweight and one had a dangerous load.
- Operation Jericho: an off-road operation seeking to stop the illegal use of off-road bikes that affect local farmland. Patrols included patrols on mountain bikes and dedicated quad bike that allows police to get into otherwise inaccessible areas. The activities led to police issuing two Section 59 notices for illegal motorcycle activity.
- Operation Bifocal saw police working with local gamekeepers, farmers and patrol officers to disrupt those seeking to engage in hare coursing and poaching, and ran late into the night. Numerous farms were visited in known poaching hotspots, with one vehicle stopped
- Operation Traverse in which we work with the Environment Agency’s Fisheries team to tackle illegal fishing. One person was reported for summons for fishing without a licence
- The execution of a firearms warrant linked to poaching in which several weapons were seized. The investigation is ongoing.
Chief Inspector Andy Rooke said: “Today shows the dedication of the force in tackling rural crime issues across the county. Although these are part of a dedicated Day of Action, they are all long-running operations and interventions that have seen us working in partnership with other forces and agencies to protect our communities.
“We are also working with a Crimestoppers-led campaign launched in October to increase rural reporting of crime that has been supported by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and the National Farmers’ Union”.
Officers were also working alongside Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in a joint initiative to visit farms in Nottinghamshire, offering crime prevention and fire safety advice.
Andy Guy, county adviser for the NFU’s Nottinghamshire, a body for agriculture and horticulture said: “Crime in the countryside leaves victims devastated and businesses ruined. It has to stop. And with the National Day of Action Against Rural Crime, this blight on our rural areas will be brought into sharp focus.
“Rural crime is right at the top of farmers’ concerns and the NFU is here to highlight how vital it is that victims report incidents to the police – only then can we get a true picture of crime patterns in the countryside.
“We work closely with Nottinghamshire Police to make sure the farming community knows the force takes rural crime very seriously and is determined to rid rural areas of thieves, fly-tippers and hare coursers.
“Report crimes, mark and photograph your valuables and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Let’s make the countryside a no-go area for criminals.”
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I’m really serious about the need to tackle rural crime. That’s why I’ve funded several initiatives to help prevent crime and of course the recent Crimestoppers’ campaign designed to increase reports of rural crime.
"Crime has a significant financial and emotional impact on rural businesses and residents and I’m pleased to see so many different organisations working together to share resources and intelligence in order to deliver a better deal to those who live in the countryside.”