Three suspects have been questioned by police following a series of warrants conducted following a renewed commitment to tackling rural crime.
A coordinated team of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire officers 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 Leicestershire during four warrants in which they recovered a quantity of suspected stolen equipment.
The teams split on Friday morning (13 May 2022) and at around 6.40am descended on properties in Occupation Lane in East Bridgford, Wodehouse Avenue in Gotham and Devon Road in Newark.
A fourth warrant was also executed by Leicestershire Police at a farm in Hose, Leicestershire.
From the addresses, officers recovered a number of suspected stolen items, which included power tools, car parts and a horse trailer.
A 34-year-old man was arrested at the Gotham address on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and possession of criminal property, while a 34-year-old man was arrested at the Newark address on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and possession of offensive weapons. Both have since been released on bail while an investigation continues.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old man connected to the East Bridgford address was voluntarily interviewed on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and theft after handing himself into police on Monday (16 May 2022).
This action comes after the Police and Crime Commissioner’s rural crime plan was announced earlier this year, which renews and bolsters the force’s commitment to tackling rural crime.
Sergeant Brett Price, who oversaw the warrants, said: “Together with our colleagues at Leicestershire Police, we targeted a number of addresses in what has proved to be a very successful operation. We have recovered a significant number of items and made three arrests, which we hope shows communities just how seriously we take reports of rural crime.
“These high-value thefts can be absolutely devastating for businesses by causing stress and even, in some circumstances, contribute to financial hardship. We want to do everything we can to prevent this happening and will continue our work rural areas to stop criminals in the tracks.
Rural crime is a priority for the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Rushcliffe, with Sgt Price saying its impact should not be underestimated.
He said: “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.
“That is why we take rural crime so seriously and have built up really good working relationships with other forces. These criminals travel and rural crime has no borders, so it’s really important we have those partnerships in place.”
Neighbourhood Policing Chief Inspector Heather Maelor said she was pleased the warrants had yielded positive results.
She said: “This latest enforcement action has once again demonstrated our commitment to tackling rural crime and I am delighted with the outcome.
“I hope this proactive style of policing shows we are doing all we can to protect farmers, landowners and rural communities from criminals – and will not hesitate to prosecute those we catch.”
The efforts of the officers involved were praised by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who said: “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.”
Councillor Rob Inglis, of Rushcliffe Borough Council, attended one the warrants and added: “It’s great to see police forces being proactive in tackling rural crime with a multi-agency approach.
“I hope this reassures the local community that rural crime will not be tolerated in Rushcliffe and that the police are working hard to bring criminals to justice.”