Wednesday, 19 October 2016 12:57

Commissioner pledge's to tackle rural crime

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Commissioner pledge's to tackle rural crime

RURAL crime is having a devastating effect in Cambridgeshire, police commissioner Jason Ablewhite has warned.

Mr Ablewhite visited local farmers and rural business leaders to better understand the impact of rural crime in Cambridgeshire.

Figures from rural insurer NFU Mutual show Cambridgeshire was the fourth highest county for rural thefts last year but many crimes aren't covered by insurance.

Mr Ablewhite met representatives from Countryside Watch and the National Farmers Union on 19 October to learn more about the knock effects of rural crime.

He said: "The visit was a timely opportunity for me to understand the devastating effect rural crime can have on communities as I pull together my Police and Crime Plan.

"Rural Crime continues to be a big problem in Cambridgeshire, threatening local livelihoods, putting pressure on policing resources and increasing the fear of crime within our rural communities.

"It is more important than ever that we work together to continue to address this threat."

The Constabulary set up a Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) in 2015 as a direct response to concerns from the local community.

Earlier this month, it caught multiple hare coursing groups as well as seizing five hare coursing dogs with support from the National Police Air Service.

Chief Inspector James Sutherland said: "A strong message is being sent to criminals – Cambridgeshire is closed to hare coursers.

"We will seize your cars, your phones, your dogs and send you to court."

The dedicated team of officers use specialist knowledge to deal with all aspects of rural crime including plant and tractor theft, heritage crime, arson, wildlife crime and illegal raves.

NFU county adviser Hannah Padfield said: "The theft of a tractor just before harvest or electrical wiring stolen from a leek harvesting rig can add huge costs and disruption to a farm business.

She added: "Hare coursing is also on the increase in Cambridgeshire, with the intimidation and threats of violence that comes with it.

"The NFU looks forward to working with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cambridgeshire police to ensure rural communities get the police service they need and deserve."

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