The team consists of one sergeant, two constables and a staff member problem solver to enhance how the Force deals with rural crime, through a partnership approach working and supporting neighbourhood officers
The priority areas of crime that they will be addressing are:
- Theft of farm machinery and vehicles
- Livestock offences
- Fuel theft
- Equine offences
- Poaching (working together with wildlife crime officers)
- Fly tipping (as members of the national action group).
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and board member of the National Rural Crime Network said:
“I’m delighted that the Force has appointed a dedicated team of experienced officers to help eradicate the crime and community safety issues we face in rural communities. Devon and Cornwall is one of the most rural forces in the country and faces a number of challenges in serving communities spread across a huge geographic area . The local results from the NRCN’s Rural Crime Survey conducted during 2018 (see PCC’s response here) illustrated that we need to do more to support our rural communities and making them feel better connected to policing. Establishing the rural crime team is a clear signal that Devon and Cornwall is rising to the challenge”
Inspector Paul Morgan said: “The focus of these officers will be on improving how the force receives, allocates and investigates reports of rural crime in order to support the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Rural Affairs Strategy.
“While they will undoubtedly be involved in hands-on policing they won’t be the only officers involved in dealing with rural crime. Their skills and experience will be leveraged by supporting neighbourhood policing teams with the requisite knowledge, skills and contacts to handle rural matters effectively.
“This work builds on the success of our current Special Constabulary rural engagement team who have, over the past few years, been recognised nationally for the way in which they have offered crime prevention advice, increased the number of Farm Watch scheme members and instigated formal policing operations, such as the Rural Road Safety Roadshow earlier this year.”