Week of action highlights force's year-round efforts to drive down rural crime
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Nottinghamshire Police teams were out in force across the county during a national week of action to prevent, tackle, and drive down rural crime.
Neighbourhood officers visited and contacted hundreds of farms in rural areas including in Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, and Newark and Sherwood, providing farmers and landowners with crime prevention packs, and engaging with them to find out more about issues affecting them and how police can help tackle them.
In support of the force’s ongoing work to crack down on rural crime, targeted operations and high-visibility patrols also took place aimed at disrupting and preventing criminal activity and bringing offenders to justice.
These included a proactive tri-force operation in the Bassetlaw area on Saturday (23 September 2023) which saw Nottinghamshire Police join forces with Derbyshire Constabulary and South Yorkshire Police to tackle cross-border rural issues such as plant machinery and agricultural equipment theft, vehicle theft, fuel theft, illegal poaching and hare coursing, and serious acquisitive crimes such as burglary and theft.
Nottinghamshire Police's road crime team, roads policing team, and local neighbourhood policing teams, were among the resources involved in the operation.
Results included a car being stopped in Blyth and a 51-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug, taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, and driving offences. A 40-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent.
Two more suspects were arrested on suspicion of drink driving, including a 38-year-old man detained in Harworth.
Officers also responded to reports the occupants of a car were suspected to be poaching in the Retford area. Searches were carried out and a car was followed and stopped in the Manton area. Following enquiries, no offences were identified.
Neighbourhood officers, Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated off-road motorbike team and Operation Reacher teams also carried out proactive patrols in hotspot areas last week in support of the force’s engagement with rural communities and ongoing efforts to crack down on issues including theft, speeding, antisocial off-road biking, and fly-tipping.
Members of the Sherwood neighbourhood policing team conducted rural patrols focussed on local farming estates, on Wednesday and Thursday, following previous reports of machinery and farm vehicle theft.
These high-visibility patrols were also part of the force’s ongoing operational work to target issues including diesel theft on the A1 corridor, between Newark and Blyth, and deer poaching in rural areas.
Busy days of activity for the off-road bike team, on Monday and Tuesday, saw them visit areas including Lowdham, Hoveringham, Thurgarton, Balderton, Coddington, Upton, Elston, East Stoke, Farndon, Stapleford, Misson, Everton, Scrooby, Retford, Caythorpe, Ranby, and Carburton.
Team members engaged with farmers to see if they had any issues and provided security and crime prevention advice during their productive visits.
Patrols were also carried out in the woods in Stapleford and the team’s presence was widely welcomed during engagement with members of the public.
On Sunday, officers from the Rushcliffe south neighbourhood team joined forces, once again, with The Environment Agency to continue tackling illegal fishing in the Rushcliffe borough.
Over the last couple of months officers have caught and reported a number of individuals for illegal fishing.
Spot checks were carried out on the Grantham Canal, near Main Road, Cotgrave, as part of the long-running operation on Sunday. No notices were issued.
Other partners which supported Nottinghamshire Police during the National Rural Crime Action Week, which took place between 18 and 24 September, included the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, the Environment Agency, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Bassetlaw District Council, and NFU Nottinghamshire.
Chief Inspector Clive Collings, the force’s lead for rural and wildlife crime, said: “Our wide range of engagement, education, and enforcement activity during National Rural Crime Action Week is just a snapshot of the policing work we do every day to protect our rural communities, cut crime, and improve people’s quality of life.
“Rural crime is something we tackle consistently throughout the year. We are determined to disrupt and prosecute those criminals that would target our rural communities and work closely with our partners to support those potentially vulnerable to rural offending.
“It is great to hear our officers received really positive feedback over the course of the week. Our challenge is to build on the existing links between our local beat managers and the communities they serve to ensure the essential flow of public information.
"Through this invaluable resource we will continue to focus our efforts in the right places and drive down rural crime.
"We, at Nottinghamshire Police, are committed to doing all we can to keep our rural communities safe and to create hostile environments for criminals seeking to target them.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry added: "The crucial work done during National Rural Crime Action Week enables us to listen to those at the heart of the rural community and dig deeper into the issues they are facing.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to protect the victims of such a damaging crime, which is why my office has invested significant funding in improving Nottinghamshire Police’s rural crime offer.
“The funding, along with extra training for officers, means that we can provide significant security measures for our most vulnerable and isolated areas, meaning that the people living within them are safe and more importantly feel safe.”