Officers and council team up to tackle rural crime

Published Tuesday 16 February 2021

Police officers and council staff from Market Harborough and Wigston were out in force on Friday (12 February 2021) in a planned operation to tackle crime and patrol rural and remote areas.

Rural crime patrols with police

Eight officers used the NPA's own marked police vehicles, as well as two hired 4X4s, to enable them to patrol off road in wet and muddy conditions.  Operation Arable was launched in response to ongoing issues around Cold Newton, Lowesby, Hungarton and Keyham where farmer’s gates, hedgerows and fencing have been damaged as well as in response to complaints about hare coursing; trespass and aggressive behaviour from people when challenged by landowners.

Harborough District Council’s environmental crime team also joined the officers on patrol following a rise in incidents of fly tipping and discovered a recent fly tip.  Enquiries are now ongoing to find those responsible using evidence recovered from the rubbish.

Throughout the day, stop checks on vehicles were carried out; hotspot locations and victims were visited and isolated areas were patrolled.  One vehicle was recovered due to document offences and one drug seizure occurred.  Intelligence was shared between the council and policing teams which will help identify offenders and prevent future offences.

This was one of a number of similar operations which are planned in the coming months. PC Steve Winn, who helped to organise the operation, said: “We received some really positive feedback from local people in the villages where we patrolled who were really pleased to see us. We want to reassure people who live and work in the countryside that we are putting a larger than normal policing presence into these areas using marked and unmarked cars and plan to do so again in the near future. This should also act as a deterrent to people travelling to the area to commit crime.”

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for environmental services, said: “This is positive joint working to target areas where there have been reports of issues and we will continue to take a proactive approach across the district, with Police, to identify offenders.”

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