Results from successful rural week of action
The National Rural Crime Week, (6-13 October) saw Suffolk Police undertake a wide range of successful preventive, enforcement and reassurance action, highlighting how crime can uniquely impact those that live and work in the countryside.
Proactive patrols targeting hare-coursers at known hotspots took place throughout the week. A number were identified in the Honington area who then made off from police. Offenders abandoned their vehicle which was then seized by officers.
Police also worked with landowners and farmers to offer crime prevention advice to secure land from being accessed by offenders. In addition, a meeting was arranged with the Breckland Deer Group to share information and to continue to work together to combat deer poaching. Officers also conducted two nights of proactive action against poaching using both thermal and night vision equipment.
To raise awareness of domestic abuse and associated vulnerability in rural areas, officers visited over 55 shops, pubs and other community facilities. There was a high level of engagement in raising this important subject and discussions as to how we can work together to tackle it moving forward took place. New posters highlighting the issue were put up in all locations. In addition most premises also accepted campaign posters about heritage crime, including theft of lead theft from churches.
Offenders using the road network were targeted in a multi-agency day of action at Red Lodge on 9 October in which 40 vehicles were checked. The aim was to underline the Constabulary’s determination to disrupt and frustrate the activities of criminals, including organised crime groups, who commit offences across county borders whilst using the road network.
Vehicles identified as being potentially involved in criminality were brought back to a check site at Newmarket Road, Worlington, where police and partner agencies conducted checks of the vehicles and occupants.
The operation was carried-out by the Roads and Armed Policing Team, Rural Crime officers and Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
Partner agencies present included the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Immigration Enforcement, National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service and West Suffolk Council licensing. 40 vehicles were escorted back to the site, with just three leaving clear of any offences.
A 27-year-old man from Beck Row was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, possession of cannabis and burglary offences. He was taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning but has now been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.
35 Traffic Offence Reports were issued as follows: five for number plate offences; four for no MOT; three for having no motor insurance; eight for not wearing a seatbelt; two for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence; five for vehicle in a dangerous condition; ten for registration plates; two for tinted windows (over the prescribed level); one for glass not prescribed and one for a lorry that was overweight.
Three vehicles were seized for document offences.
HMRC dipped 23 fuel tanks, three of which contained red diesel. Each driver was fined £540.
The DVSA issued 12 immediate prohibitions, taking those vehicles off the road straight away; 17 delayed prohibitions; and 57 advisory notices.
The DVLA recovered £760 in fines including for wheel clamping and warning letters etc. West Suffolk Council Licensing will follow up with six vehicles that were carrying scrap metal.
Road safety in rural locations was highlighted during the week of action across the county. Speed enforcement teams including targeted motorists on rural roads and on one day detected 151 speeding offences.
Sgt Brian Calver said, "This successful week of action in rural areas demonstrates the effectiveness of police working with partners and co-ordinating action cross-border. Using a range of preventive, enforcement and reassurance measures makes a positive difference to those that live, work and travel in our countryside.
"Rural crime covers a wide range of issues including wildlife crime, domestic abuse, incidents involving firearms, theft, and arson etc. We recognise that people living in remote areas may feel particularly vulnerable because of their isolation and are working to reduce the chances of individuals and landowners becoming victims, whilst taking robust enforcement action against offenders. We continue to work hard to meet the needs of our rural communities across Suffolk, keeping people safe and property protected.”