Sunday, 21 August 2016 21:23

Dorset police launch rural crime team

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Dorset police launch rural crime team

POLICE in Dorset have launched a new rural crime team as they step up efforts to protect countryside communities.

The rural crime team consists of a dedicated rural crime team co-ordinator, a rural engagement officer and a rural crime analyst.

It also included nominated officers who will act as points of contact for each of the county's five rural sections.

The launch of the new team fulfils a "100 Days in Office" pledge made by Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill.

"My commitments upon taking office were focused on providing the best possible service to all the communities in Dorset," he said.

"The launch of the rural crime team reflects that commitment.

    See also: Cost of rural crime tops £42m

"I know from the many rural residents and business owners I have met in Dorset that the fear of crime is high in rural areas.

"I also know the severe impact rural crime has on victims and their livelihoods.

Mr Underhill said having a dedicated rural crime team would ensure that police could undertake more proactive work to target this type of criminality.

Reporting crime and suspicious incidents is seen as fundamental to catching offenders and bringing them to justice, so the team will be enlisting the help of local communities.

Feel safe

As well as making people living and working in Dorset's many rural areas feel safe, it also introduced consistency across intelligence, investigation and crime prevention.

Police at a launch event were joined by partners from the council, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), Trading Standards and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr Underhill opened the event, followed by a speech from assistant chief constable (ACC) Mark Cooper, who outlined the force's vision for the rural crime team.

ACC Cooper commented: "Dorset Police is firmly committed to tackling issues of rural crime and maintaining public confidence throughout all communities in our county.

"As rural crime requires a specialist and collaborative response, we have pulled together a team of officers and partners to share information, skills and expertise.

Bespoke approach

"We are focused on developing a bespoke approach to rural crime, recognising its unique nature and ensuring our response is fully integrated with the community.

"The team will be a hugely valuable operational asset, leading on the proactive targeting of offenders to prevent and detect the crimes that impact on our rural communities.

"Enhanced intelligence development will be complimented by multi-agency enforcement action to ensure our response is innovative, collaborative and effective."

Community Safety Officer, Karen Graham, of Purbeck District Council, who is leading the rural crime partnership, said everyone involved was committed to protecting rural communities.

"We already work closely and successfully with these partners, including Dorset Police, and the new team will help to facilitate even more effective partnership work.

"Between us, we have a lot of combined expertise and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the near future."

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