Thursday, 07 April 2016 05:03

Police relaunch rural crime team

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Police relaunch rural crime team

A team of officers dedicated to combatting rural crime has been re-formed in response to community concerns in Cambridgeshire.

The Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) will combat hare coursing and poaching, as well as using specialist knowledge to deal with other aspects of rural crime.

Of special interest are the theft of plant/tractor theft, arson, wildlife crime and illegal raves.

Raising awareness of crime prevention strategies will also be a part of the team's role.

Recent months have seen incidents of hare coursing three times higher compared to previous years, said Cambridgeshire Police.

The illegal sport causes damage to crops, harms animal welfare and threatened the rural economy, said the constabulary.

At times, it could result in intimidation and even violence.

Chief inspector James Sutherland said: "Our goals are simple - we want to drive hare coursing out of Cambridgeshire, reduce the financial cost of rural crime and let those in the rural community know that we are behind them."

Incidents of hare coursing in Cambridgeshire fell by 96% after police initially launched the RCAT initiative a decade ago.

In the 2005/06 season there were just 48 illegal incidents with 15 people reported or arrested for hare coursing, and eight people facing the courts.

This compared to 1210 incidents in 2003/04 and 636 in 2004/05.

The team also helped to combat fly-tipping and disorder in rural areas, carrying out regular patrols of rural communities in high-visibility 4x4 vehicles.

Rural residents were encouraged to pass on information about any crime to the police by calling a 24-hour confidential hotline.

  • No comments found

Leave your comments

0 / 500 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-500 characters
terms and condition.