A new team of dedicated rural crime officers have been appointed by Cleveland Police.
Headed by Inspector Dan Maddison, the new team will have a range of tools at their disposal to help prevent, detect and deter offences and anti-social behaviour affecting rural areas.
To help focus the team’s efforts an action plan has also been drafted which gives priority to:
creating a database of contacts
developing a list of people allowed to hunt on land
working more closely with farmers, estate managers and game keepers
increasing the number of visible patrols
improving crime prevention advice
exploring all funding opportunities to support ongoing activities
a focus on protecting heritage sites from crime and vandalism
For the first time Cleveland is also getting involved in large scale operations targeting travelling criminals, illegal hunting activity and antisocial use of off-road vehicles, working collaboratively with other police forces.
Commenting, Inspector Dan Maddison said: “Since attending the NFU’s regional rural crime conference last year I have been looking at how Cleveland, as a predominantly urban force, might need to change the way we operate in rural areas.
“It is clear that officers and other staff need help to understand and prosecute behaviour considered by the farming and rural community to be criminal and anti-social.
“We are committed to working with these communities to fully understand the impact of these activities, prevent it happening and deal effectively with offenders.”