An increase in rural and wildlife crime in remote areas including break-ins of outbuildings, lamping, deer poaching, and seasonal crime e.g. theft of Christmas trees led to the introduction of green routes; a patrol strategy which sees ARV officers take routes through rural areas identified as high risk as part of every day business. The green routes are regularly reviewed in response to intel and to target seasonal crime which has resulted in a significant decrease in Christmas tree thefts and deer poaching.
Identifying the problem
Significant theft of Christmas trees, deer poaching, increase in reports of suspicious vehicles in remote areas trespassing on farm land/poaching. Also a spate of equestrian theft / stable breaks.
Financial impact on rural businesses, increased calls for service into the control room.
Legislation changes - Existing
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
Legislation changes - New
Looked at intel to establish which remote areas were at higher risk and worked with the Staffordshire armed response unit to devise a workable patrol strategy that raised the visibility of police in remote areas without significant impact on ARV business.
This is an ongoing initiative that has been successful so far. The routes are regularly reviewed and adapted according to intel received and needs assessments to maintain optimum impact.
What didn't work
This has resulted in a decrease in some crime types in rural areas. It has raised police visibility and sent a clear message that such criminal activity will not be tolerated in Staffordshire.
This is an ongoing initiative that continues to evolve.