Leicestershire Police is planning a number of enforcement and engagement activities as part of a national week of action to target Wildlife and Rural Crime across the county.
The week of action, which takes place between 6 – 13 October, includes a joint operation with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), trading standards, and environmental health agency to ensure the safe transport of plant equipment and machinery as well as livestock.
Proactive patrols will also be locating vehicles suspected of being connected to crime as well as targeting suspicious activity.
In addition, officers will be out and about throughout Leicestershire, including Melton Market on Tuesday 8 October, where they will be handing out advice on rural crime prevention and available to answer questions.
Sergeant Nick Woodrow, wildlife and rural crime coordinator for Leicestershire Police, said: “We are working hard to keep rural communities safe all year round. However, this week of action gives us the opportunity to work more closely with our partners to target criminals and ensure our crime prevention tips reach as far and wide as possible.
“This includes locking equipment away, installing alarms where possible and marking tools, as well as using locking posts or temporary obstructions to control wide access points to yards or other land and installing entry control systems.
“We have dedicated pages on our force website to provide information and advice to those living and working in rural communities and I would ask that these are viewed regularly along with our Rural Watch pages on Facebook and Twitter.”
He added: “In June the force teamed up with Rutland County Council and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service to launch the ‘Safer Villages scheme’ to provide a stock of community safety resources including alarms, special markers and stickers, along with specialist training. This scheme has been rolled out to several areas as part of an on-going trial which will be reviewed after 12 months.
“Earlier this year the force also invested in a new fleet of 4x4 vehicles to help tackle rural crime and this followed the appointment of five new rural and wildlife specific officers in addition to the six we already have. This demonstrates our commitment and focus towards dealing with wildlife and rural crime.”
A tri-force operation with Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Police along the A5 corridor to tackle those slaughtering and butchering sheep took place over the summer months. Now Leicestershire Police is looking closely at the latest technology trials with could help to deter this criminality further to see if new methods can be introduced here.
Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach will visit some of those whose livestock fell victim to this as part of the week of action.
He said: “I felt I should go and meet some of those farmers who have been affected. I know that it’s not just about the financial impact. Farmers are horrified at what has happened to their animals. Leicestershire Police is working hard to tackle these rural problems, but I would urge anyone with concerns about crime, or if they see something that doesn’t look right, to contact the police without delay.”