Officers from Staffordshire Police are taking part in a national week of action to tackle rural crime.
The operation, which launched yesterday, is being run by Rural Crime Officers, supported by Specials, who will be visiting farms, rural communities and businesses throughout the county to offer crime prevention advice, help with property marking and promote membership of Smart Alert schemes.
Stop checks will be taking place on plant and agricultural vehicles, as police gather intelligence and look for stolen property and wanted suspects.
They will also be targeting those who travel throughout the region committing crime such as theft and burglary, particularly in rural areas.
Officers will be checking countryside locations for signs of criminal activity, and conducting intelligence-led patrols in areas where rural crime such as poaching, fly-tipping and trespassing has previously taken place.
The force says they will be working to tackle issues that matter most to local communities, including anti-social behaviour and the unlawful use of off-road bikes.
There will be liaison with partners throughout the week including the Environment Agency and Environmental Health to share information and best practice.
An online surgery begins at 7pm tonight (Monday 7 October) where people from farming and rural communities will be able to chat 'live' with specialist police officers about any issues or concerns they may have regarding crime in their area.
Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Chief Inspector, and lead for rural and wildlife crime in the north of the county, Mark Thorley, said: “The Rural Crime Week of Action is a great opportunity for the different partners involved in tackling rural crime to come together and prevent criminal activity by offering invaluable advice and reassurance to our communities.
“Targeting rural crime and keeping communities safe and reassured is the priority of our dedicated Rural and Wildlife Team all year round, but there will be extra activity and resources implemented this week.
“I look forward to taking part in the online surgery on Monday and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to get in touch.
"By using a digital channel, it enables us to reach and engage with a wider audience; making it more convenient for people to discuss directly with officers any concerns they may have.”
Sue Arnold, Deputy Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Commissioner, leads on the rural crime portfolio on behalf of the Staffordshire Commissioner. She said: “Rural Staffordshire is generally a safe and pleasant place to be, but it is not without community safety challenges.
"The impact of crime is often disproportionately greater on victims in the countryside, and due to the often remote and isolated nature of the locations, it can heighten people’s feelings of vulnerability.
“One in five people in our county lives in a rural setting and it is vital police and communities work together in order to prevent and reduce criminal activity.”
In June a new Rural Crime report was launched, created by the Staffordshire Commissioner in partnership with Staffordshire Police.
The report looked at the impact of rural crime and was commissioned after a national study raised concerns over the issue.
The report can be read in full here: https://staffordshire-pfcc.
To join the live chat please visit: https://app.sli.do/event/