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'Reacher' rabbit goes from strength to strength as namesake operation prepares to expand

September 17, 2020
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A rabbit that was rescued by an off-duty officer after being left for dead is going from strength to strength in his new home - as the force prepares to expand the policing operation he was named after.

‘Reacher’, spotted by Inspector Marcus Oldroyd whilst out on a morning run in February, was left to fend for himself after he was callously thrown out by fly-tippers, who dumped a load of household waste on land near Newark.

The white lop-eared rabbit was taken to the RSPCA shelter in Radcliffe-on-Trent, where he was named after Operation Reacher, a proactive policing initiative which began in Bestwood during April 2018 to tackle serious and organised crime, and was led by Inspector Oldroyd.

Reacher then found a ‘hoppy ending’ with the Ellis family in Arnold, where he also has a bunny best friend called ‘Honey’.

Louise Ellis, his owner, said: “Reacher is doing absolutely fantastic and it’s such a pleasure to have him as part of the family.

“He has put on weight and is thoroughly enjoying his new life here with his housemate Honey.

“He’s such a cheeky character, very inquisitive and he loves his food, and it still shocks me to think that someone could be so cruel. We’re truly thankful that he survived the ordeal and that police found him.”

Inspector Marcus Oldroyd said: “It’s fantastic to hear Reacher rabbit is doing brilliantly in his new home, especially as we head into this very exciting time for the force in terms of Operation Reacher.

“He seems to have become quite the mascot, which is brilliant to see, especially given the conditions he was faced with when I found him.”

Work has been ongoing to expand the Operation Reacher model into each of Nottinghamshire Police’s neighbourhood teams, with Gedling being the first area outside of Bestwood to launch a Reacher team back in January.

Since launching, Operation Reacher has seen millions of pounds worth of drugs, hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cash and hundreds of illegal vehicles taken off the county’s streets, alongside securing a number of significant convictions as a result.

Now, the force is preparing for dedicated Reacher teams to be introduced across all 12 neighbourhood policing area across Nottinghamshire from Monday 5 October 2020.

Their job will be to proactively build links with their local communities, guide people away from a life of crime as well as pursue and disrupt the people in those communities who cause most harm.

Inspector Oldroyd added: “Having seen the success of the Reacher teams in Bestwood and Gedling since their launch, and also having had a number of cars for the initiative arrive in June, it’s great to finally be nearing the county-wide launch which we’ve been working hard towards, and also to see this major investment in our communities come to fruition.

“As part of the expansion, each of the remaining neighbourhood teams will be joined by a team of six new officers, each led by a sergeant and an Operation Reacher car. So, if you make a living from crime, expect a visit from our teams soon.

“People who routinely engage in serious criminality are a blight on the lives of people across the county and I can’t wait for our new Operation Reacher teams to increase the pressure on them by joining the rest of neighbourhoods policing family and adding to their great work.”

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