Rural criminals put on notice as police gear up with new high-tech armoury

Community Advice and Support
12:14, Thursday, 20th July 2023

A crime task force is now better equipped than ever before to continue to its crack-down on rural criminals – giving greater protection to communities across North Lincolnshire and East Riding.

New all-terrain vehicles will enable quick and easy access to farmland, woodland and coastal areas, while officer’s kit has been enhanced with thermal imaging cameras, nano-trackers and specialist property marking and DNA kits.

New automatic-number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will also be used at strategic locations across the rural road network.

Sergeant Kevin Jones from the Rural Task Force said: “Our aim has always been to disrupt, apprehend and prosecute the organised crime groups involved in rural crime, and to prevent the farming community from becoming victims of rural crime.

“This project will have a huge impact on how we tackle these incidents, and also means that we can provide people in our rural communities with new ways to protect their property in the event of a theft.”

The new kit is funded through the Rural Crime Project from Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison. The project has been backed by more than £110,000 cash to equip officers and farmers with the new kit.

Sergeant Jones added: “The impact of rural crime to the farming and rural community cannot be underestimated, whether it be the emotional cost from being a victim, to the financial cost of replacing the high-value agricultural assets.

“We also have plans to organise days of action around rural crime hotspots to allocate our crime prevention products to victims and vulnerable members of the farming community.

“It is our hope that working so closely together through this project, we can reduce rural crime across East Riding and North Lincolnshire.”

Jonathan Evison said: “Many of our rural communities have felt there was not enough being done to help protect their properties and livelihoods.

“The recent uplift of police officers has enabled the Chief Constable to create dedicated rural crime teams to focus more attention in those communities.

“Having more officers is excellent but they also need the specialist equipment to help them cut crime and protect our rural areas. I am delighted we have been able to part fund this project to help tackle rural crime in the East Riding and North Lincolnshire.”

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Rural crime is a clear priority for the police – protecting communities across the area from this criminality must continue.

“It is great to see the Police and Crime Commissioner backing the force with this cash to enable them to have the best possible equipment to tackle this criminality and I am certain it will be welcomed by communities.”

Chief Superintendent Darren Wildbore said: “Humberside Police has worked tirelessly to tackle rural crime and helped to make our rural communities feel safer with a focus on disruption of criminal activities, apprehension, arrest, charging and prosecution of offenders.

“In 2021 the Rural Task Force was introduced and has now expanded following the success of this dedicated team. These officers provide specialist knowledge and skills that significantly improves our ability to tackle rural crime across the Force and provide reassurance to our rural communities.

“With the support of this funding of specialist equipment the capability of the team has been enhanced further, enabling increased proactivity to prevent and detect rural crime thereby increasing confidence in our rural communities.”

The project is run through the North Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership (CSP), which includes North Lincolnshire Council, Humberside Police, Humberside Fire and Rescue, Ongo, the National Probation Service, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB and the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner.

This new Rural Crime Project – in partnership with the NFU, East Riding and North Lincolnshire Council and the PCC – was launched at Driffield Show on Wednesday 19 July 2023.

Pictured launching the project at Driffield Show are (left to right): Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Rob Waltham, Sergeant Kevin Jones from Humberside Police’s Rural Task Force and Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison.