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Arrests in Nottinghamshire rural crime crackdown

Four suspects were arrested as officers took to the streets and countryside in a bid to crack down on rural crime.
The operation saw teams of officers from the Bassetlaw neighbourhood policing team, the off-road bike team, the force’s knife crime team, road crime team, road’s policing, Operation Reacher, tactical support group and dogs team spend Thursday (12 May) out on patrol in Bassetlaw to put a stop to rural criminals.

The teams descended onto the district as part of the operation – teaming up with officers in South Yorkshire Police and Derbyshire Constabulary.

Going into the early hours of Friday morning and with the help of specialised units and equipment, officers arrested two teenagers on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and attempted theft of a motor vehicle.

As the night went on, eagle-eyed officers spotted a transit van travelling on Potter Street, Worksop, thought to be involved in van thefts from across the county.

On closer inspection of the vehicle, officers quickly found around 100 skeleton keys, an angle grinder and three cut-off catalytic converters.

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Two men aged 16 and 20, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of going equipped for theft of a motor vehicle. They remain in custody as enquiries continue.

The team’s work continued and, acting on intelligence being gathered by teams in both Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, officers arrested two men in connection with the theft of two transit vans.

The night also saw three traffic offence reports being issued, including stopping a driver without a licence using a vehicle thought to be linked to crimes across the district.

Inspector Hayley Crawford, District Commander for Bassetlaw, said: “This operation is all about working with our partners in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire Police to tackle rural crime. We’re finding especially in Bassetlaw that because our community is quite rural that they’re being affected by these types of crime.

“We frequently get phone calls from members of the public telling us about what’s going on in their areas so we are using that information to work out where we need to deploy our efforts.

“Operations like this are great because it means we can go out in masse and start going for those criminals that are targeting people in the rural communities and start bringing them to justice.

“I understand the impact that rural crimes have on not just the people in our rural communities but also on their businesses and livelihoods.

“When we get reports of equipment being stolen, this is not only costly to the victims, but we often see during these offences that the suspects also cause damage to farmland, fencing and crops which can leave the victims even more out of pocket of thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

“Carrying out operations like this alongside our neighbouring forces is vital in clamping down and putting a stop to those causing issues and helping to reassure the community that we are listening and we are getting out there.

“We are out there in both marked and unmarked vehicles so sometimes you may not even know we’re there and keeping an eye out but we are, and we’re there to keep you safe.

“Rural crime has no borders, so it’s really important that we continue these good working relationships with other forces so we’re always ready to act wherever they might be.

“We will stop at nothing to keep the people of our rural communities safe and I am really proud of each and every officer involved in helping us combat rural crime.”

Sergeant James Shirley, of South Yorkshire Police’s off-road bike intervention team, said: “Our criminals do not see our regional policing boundaries, and therefore is it imperative we do not either.

“We always aim to work closely with our neighbouring forces to combat all forms of crime and this operation was looking specifically at rural crime. We engaged with our rural communities and worked into the small hours – flooding our rural roads with officers to keep them safe.”

The operation is just one of many taking place across the rural communities of Nottinghamshire, as the force renews its commitment to policing rural and wildlife matters.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has made funding available to bolster policing resources as part of her bid to get tough on criminals blighting rural communities.

As part of the plan to tackle rural crime, this money will also be used to invest in new state-of-the-art equipment to ensure officers have the tools they need.

This will include new drones, off-road motorbikes, fixed and mobile automatic number plate recognition cameras in rural locations, thermal imaging goggles, and 4×4 vehicles.

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