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Police To Target Rural And Wildlife Crime In North Yorkshire

Police To Target Rural And Wildlife Crime In North Yorkshire

Published by Karen Liu at 5:31pm 7th October 2019. (Updated at 5:33pm 7th October 2019)

A major police operation will target rural and wildlife crime in North Yorkshire – part of a national campaign running throughout this week.

As part of the national Wildlife and Rural Crime Week of Action, police resources, including volunteers, will focus on the key issues that affect rural areas.

Throughout the week, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce will work alongside the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams, and other specialist resources.

They will also be joined by volunteers from Mobile Rural Watch schemes, and staff from partnership agencies.

The week-long campaign, which is co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, runs from 6th to 13 October 2019, and follows the success of a ‘rural crime day of action’ in 2018.

The week of action got underway with a major police operation spanning the north of England on Sunday 6 October, when hundreds of officers and volunteers took part in Operation Checkpoint, the largest operation of its kind in the country.

The forces involved in Checkpoint share intelligence and information and patrol across force boundaries to target criminals, disrupting their use of the road network in rural areas and bringing anyone found breaking the law to justice.

Police tactics included the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to locate vehicles suspected of being connected to crime, as well as targeting vehicles seen in suspicious circumstances.

Sunday 6th October also saw North Yorkshire Police mark National Badger Day 2019, with the publication of a newsletter and social media activity to raise awareness of badger persecution. Inspector Kevin Kelly, from North Yorkshire Police, is National Chair of the Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group, part of the UK’s National Wildlife Crime Unit.

Throughout the week, officers will be patrolling and conducting proactive operations in rural North Yorkshire, including:

Operation Galileo – An operation to disrupt illegal poaching, such as hare coursing.

There is typically an increase in poaching offences in October, after crops have been harvested, and fields are left empty and open. Officers work closely with other forces, identifying and dealing with suspect vehicles previously linked to poaching.

Operation Dusk – A proactive operation in the Selby district, targeting criminals who travel into rural areas of North Yorkshire from neighbouring regions.

Operation Harvester – Under this operation, hundreds of volunteers operate Mobile Rural Watches across the North Yorkshire countryside. Volunteers use their own vehicles, and are equipped with police radios so they can communicate with officers. By drawing on the expert local knowledge of the volunteers, any suspicious activity or vehicles can be checked out in real time.

In addition, police will be working alongside partner agencies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust to keep North Yorkshire’s countryside and wildlife protected.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said:

“The NPCC’s Wildlife and Rural Crime Week of Action is a good opportunity to highlight the impact of rural crime on our communities, and the action that we are taking to tackle it.

We know all too well the effect that crime can have on the livelihoods and wellbeing of rural residents, which is why it remains a top priority for us.

Our activities this week are a reflection of the hard work of officers, staff and volunteers that goes on day-in, day-out across North Yorkshire.

However, I hope the clear message and focus of this week of action will send out a clear message that criminals are not welcome in our rural communities.”

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce the largest unit dedicated to tackling rural crime in England.

The Taskforce works closely with local groups and individuals to identify and solve issues of concern to rural communities.

They gather information and intelligence about those who target or commit offences in rural areas, take part in proactive operations to disrupt offenders, and provide a visible presence in rural villages and towns and villages.

Taskforce PCs and PCSOs also have expertise in providing bespoke advice on how to protect yourself, your farm or household, and your property and livestock.

In its most recent inspection of North Yorkshire Police published in September 2019, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that:

“Tackling rural crime was given high priority, following a consultation that highlighted public concern.

This improved the response to crime and incidents for rural communities… By offering crime prevention advice and developing new links through social media and the Rural Taskforce, North Yorkshire Police has successfully re-engaged the rural community.”

More than 100 vehicles were stopped and checked – and more than 40 farms safeguarded against crimes – in a rural policing operation last night.

In rural areas across Cleveland, Northumbria and North Yorkshire, around 100 vehicles were stopped and checked to ensure they were in order, and there were more than 40 reassurance visits to farms.

In addition to Cleveland Police, Northumbria Police and North Yorkshire Police, forces in Cumbria, Lancashire, Durham, West Yorkshire and Humberside also took part. In total, more than 100 officers and more than 100 police volunteers deployed across the North of England.

In North Yorkshire, one of the vehicle checks resulted in an arrest for drug driving.

Inspector Jon Grainge, added:

“We have excellent working relationships with neighbouring forces, and operations like Checkpoint help us share resources and information to clamp down on criminals, wherever they are from and wherever they are going.

Thanks you to everyone involved, particularly members of our Mobile Rural Watch schemes, who gave up their own time to support the operation here in North Yorkshire. As always, their support was invaluable.

Operation Checkpoint sends a clear message to criminals who target our rural communities that their illegal activity will not be tolerated.”

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