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Leicestershire Police has launched a brand new team of specially trained special constables who will be dedicated to the needs of rural communities throughout Leicestershire and Rutland.
The team will be involved with anything from tackling hare coursing and poaching, to dealing with theft, fly-tipping and investigating other wildlife offences.
Like all special constables, the Rural Specials Team will have full policing powers, uniform and protective equipment and will work alongside the regular force to tackle rural crime.
Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach said: “The efforts that are being made to tackle crime in rural areas illustrate just how seriously the force and I take the issues faced by those living in rural communities.
“Rural crime often presents a different set of challenges, but it is still very much crime, and I know the force is determined to crack down on it. That’s why I particularly welcome the introduction of the dedicated ‘rural’ special constables. Special constables bring a unique and broad range of skills and experiences to our policing family and I’m quite sure that this team will make a significant difference to our rural communities.”
The team will be led by Special Sergeant Leigh Moore, who works to support the farmers of England and Wales in his full time job with the National Farmers Union (NFU).
Leigh said: “Rural crime is on the increase nationally, with emerging trends occurring all the time. Having a team of like-minded individuals to support our regular colleagues allows us to be in more places more of the time, and that can only be a great thing.
“I am fortunate to have a diverse team who can bring skills they have from their many walks of life to such a niche and important community.”
Special Constable Ellis Harris-Boulter joined the team because he lives in a rural village and has seen first-hand the incredibly damaging effects that rural crime can have. He says: “I’ve spoken with farmers and locals about the impact they’ve felt, whether it’s due to haystack fires, hare coursing or other rural offences, and in every case it’s had a massive effect on their way of life.”
Ellis has spent the last three years policing in the city, but says that thanks to the fantastic training, guidance and mentoring he’s received, he feels confident in dedicating his time to our rural communities.
He added: “The regular officers dedicated to policing rural crime work incredibly hard and have the colossal task of policing a very large rural area, so I have no doubt that the additional special crews out and about will enable us to provide even faster support to important issues that affect those living in the countryside most.”
To find out more about the Leicestershire's Special Constabulary, please visit the force website leics.police.uk/couldyou or follow @LeicsSpecials on twitter.