Two suspects were arrested during a series of warrants conducted following a renewed commitment to tackling rural crime.
A coordinated team of officers from Rushcliffe, made up of local intelligence, neighbourhood policing, Operation Reacher, tactical support group, detectives and also officers from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, targeted addresses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire during four warrants in which they recovered a quantity of suspected stolen equipment.
The teams split on Thursday morning 27 January 2022 and at around 8am descended on properties in Occupation Lane and Old Hill Lane, East Bridgford, as well as properties in Hyde Lane and off the Hartington stretch of the A515, Derbyshire.
From the addresses, officers recovered a number of items, which included car and digger parts, as well as trailers, farm vehicles and quad bikes. They also recovered a quantity of cash, machinery and generators, which are suspected of being stolen.
Two men, aged 23 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of theft, handling stolen goods and conspiracy to commit theft.
This action comes as Police and Crime Commissioner’s rural crime plan was announced, which renews and bolsters the force’s commitment to tackling rural crime.
Rushcliffe’s local intelligence officer and Detective Constable Matt Buckley were the driving forces behind the day of action.
The local intelligence officer said: “Working together and taking an intelligence-based approach, we were able to coordinate this day of action and target a number of addresses at the same time in our efforts to tackle rural crime.
“This approach has ultimately been really successful and we have recovered a significant number of items and made two arrests during this day of action, which we hope shows communities just how seriously we take reports of rural crime.
“As local officers, our job is to listen to communities and act on what they tell us is important. Rural crime and rural communities are something we know are hugely important in particular to Rushcliffe but also in the wider Nottinghamshire scope, and we remain committed to preventing and investigating these crimes.
Rushcliffe’s Operation Reacher team was also on hand to help with their expertise and bolster the efforts around the operation. Since 2020, the team has been conducting a variety of proactive work around rural crime, working with partners and looking at national and local intelligence.
Sergeant James Ross, who leads the Operation Reacher team in Rushcliffe, grew up on a farm himself. Having seen the importance of farm equipment and the devastation such crime can cause first hand, the day of action was something he felt was important to have during the crackdown.
He said: “The impact this type of crime has for farmers and the rural community is huge.
“When we get a report of equipment having been stolen, this is not only costly in itself for the victims, but we often see that in the midst of these offences, suspects have also damaged farmland, fencing, and valuable crops, meaning victims can be left thousands and thousands of pounds out of pocket as well as without the ability to conduct their daily business in the usual way, which after all is their livelihood.
“Through our continuous rural crime efforts, as well as joint days of action as we have seen today, I am very confident we are making a dent and continuing to be on the tail and stop those committing these offences in their track.
“Working with partners, including security firms and machinery manufacturers, communities should be really confident there is a strong support system in place working very hard to tackle rural crime.
“We also have a really good working relationship with other forces, including the Derbyshire and Leicestershire rural crime teams who provided support for us today. These criminals travel and rural crime has no borders, so it’s really important we have that partnership and we are ready to act wherever they might be.”
Rural crime is a priority for the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Rushcliffe, and Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Rob Lawton said: “I hope this proactive style of policing shows the rural communities in Rushcliffe of my commitment to them and the issues they face. The crimes are devastating so I genuinely want operations such as these to be the foundations of a trusting relationship between me, my teams and the rural community.
“The action today is just one part of the a significant amount of ongoing work being conducted by my teams to monitor and prevent such crimes as well as prosecute those found to have committed them. I am proud of everyone involved as I know the dedication and genuine commitment it takes.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “As your Police and Crime Commissioner I have always been determined that we get tough on rural and wildlife crime. That’s why we have been working hard to develop a new plan which will do just that. Our new plan will stop rural criminals in their tracks.”
“It is really positive to hear some of the results coming back from these operations and to see those suspected of these crimes being investigated. As the new plan is implemented I am looking forward to seeing our officers continue to deliver for our rural communities.”