During the evening of Wednesday 15 June 2016, under the title Operation Midas, Dorset Police led officers from Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset Police to target, prevent and detect those who use the road networks around the borders of all three counties, to commit rural-related crimes. The aim of the Operation was to identify and target […]
During the evening of Wednesday 15 June 2016, under the title Operation Midas, Dorset Police led officers from Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset Police to target, prevent and detect those who use the road networks around the borders of all three counties, to commit rural-related crimes.
The aim of the Operation was to identify and target vehicles and persons suspected to be involved in the commission of cross border crimes such as poaching, non-dwelling burglary and theft from motor vehicles in isolated areas.
Overt and covert patrols were undertaken in hotspot areas in an intelligence-led approach, using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems together with high visibility policing to deny criminals the use of the road network.
The three force border operation provided an enhanced presence and allowed the utilisation of additional specialist resources, such as Roads Policing Teams, The No Excuse Team and rural policing teams. Also involved in the operation were the road fuel testing unit from HM Revenue & Customs to tackle the trade in illicit diesel.
As a direct result of the operation 49 vehicles were stopped, 6 arrests were made for offences that included drink drive, possession of illegal drugs, failing to stop at an accident and for an outstanding court warrant. In addition 3 vehicles were found to have illicit diesel fuel in their tanks, 12 fixed penalty notices were issued for a variety of road traffic related matters and six vehicles were seized by police. Much useful intelligence was also gained as a result of the operation.
The collaborative approach in tackling acquisitive and rural crime forms part of Dorset Police’s ongoing rural crime strategy. Each force also works in partnership with their respective rural business communities to ensure a joined-up approach to combatting rural crime.
Inspector Wayne Nock, of Dorset Police, said: “In Dorset, remote rural premises with outbuildings are targeted for high value items and rural landowners are subjected to regular incidents of night-time poaching, with significant damage to land, fences and the rural economy being caused.
“Operation Midas is a recognised tactic in the fight against these types of rural crime. This is the seventh tri-force operation that we have run using combined intelligence and it will be repeated at intervals throughout the year to deny cross border criminals the use of the roads.
“This joined up approach sends a strong message to those who choose to use the road networks to commit crime that travelling across Police Force boundaries will not stop them being dealt with positively and effectively through the use of ANPR, information sharing and partnership working.”
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