Criminals who target farms and rural businesses are being warned police have stepped up the fightback.
It comes after officers in Rushcliffe led two days of proactive work spotting and intercepting suspicious vehicles traveling along one of the county’s main road networks as part of a wider ongoing crackdown.
Bringing together the Reacher, response, neighbourhood and operational response departments, teams have been reviewing ongoing offence and intelligence patterns and creating an action plan in response to incidents of burglaries and theft of high-value vehicles and machinery.
This has seen drone patrols being conducted at locations of interest, as well as uniform and plain-clothed patrols in key areas.
Recently the teams involved in the proactive operations headed out into rural Rushcliffe, patrolling villages along the A46 corridor including Bingham, Screveton and into the border with North Leicestershire.
Officers took part in high-visibility activity over two days on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 September 2021. As part of an ongoing crackdown, officers patrolled significant locations with a view of stopping motorists to try and locate criminals using this particular road network.
This resulted in 12 vehicles being stopped for suspected driving offences. Two drivers were reported for having no insurance, a motorcyclist was reported for having no helmet and another driver was reported for driving without due care and attention.
Three of the vehicles were also seized during the two days of action, where officers were patrolling the road network between Newark, Rushcliffe and North Leicestershire, and two of these were found to be being driven without insurance.
Officers also stopped a van after intelligence linked it to rural crime and dog theft. Another car was stopped after officers were made aware it had been linked to distraction burglaries and a check was made on a vehicle and trailer which was transporting an engine to ensure it wasn’t stolen. Officers engaged with the drivers but no offences were found on this occasion.
The work is just a small part of the force’s ongoing proactive work and commitment to tackling rural crime. The idea behind the multi-agency operation is aimed at cracking down on criminals who travel between Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire to disrupt their illicit activity, including targeting crime such as high-value commercial burglary and thefts from motor vehicles.
A recent success from these efforts came as a 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary.
£2,000 worth of mobile phones and laptops were taken from a shop in Cropwell Road, Radcliffe-on-Trent on 31 August 2021 and it was reported that a white transit van drove off from the scene.
Officers tracked down a suspect and arrested him on Sunday 12 September 2021. He has since been bailed with conditions.
It began in the borough of Rushcliffe, and Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Rob Lawton said:
“The operation has grown and developed as a result of its own success as we were able to bring about positive results and build up intelligence pictures which linked to different areas.
“We have a large rural community in Rushcliffe and these past six months have been really difficult for them and also some rural business owners as they found themselves being targeted, having already suffered some financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As such, we are dedicated to researching trends and taking action when it comes to rural crime and we would continue to urge anyone with information or concerns to get in touch so we can target our proactive work.
“Research indicated that criminals were travelling along the A46 corridor into Bingham, Screveton and beyond to commit these crimes.
“As part of our work, we have been able to identify those at risk and work with them to ensure they have CCTV and other security methods whilst bringing about positive outcomes for those who fell victim to these criminals.
“Having now established a model that works in combatting rural crime, we will continue the activity daily, working in collaboration with neighbouring police forces to share intelligence and join enforcement wherever possible.
“We work to ensure that there is no place for criminals, who access our road network in a bid to target rural locations, to hide.”
Sergeant James Ross, who leads the Rushcliffe Operation Reacher team, said: “As a proactive local team, we really want to look at what matters to the community and target our policing to make sure we’re serving our residents as best as we can.
“By looking at trends over the past few months and by listening to locals, we know that these types of issues relating to rural crime are important to them and as such this operation allows us to dedicate time to targeting these types of incidents, which include thefts of valuable machinery.
“Being able to target areas and vehicles of interest, and engage with the drivers of these vehicles, is invaluable and we hope this sends a clear message to criminals that we are out and about across the area and will take action on any offences we come across.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I am delighted ongoing work is being done to tackle rural crime with notable success in Rushcliffe.
“When I was elected, I committed to doing everything I can to make our rural communities feel safe. Make no mistake, rural safety will be a focus of my new police and crime plan.”