New rural crime unit for the west of the county

A new rural crime unit, which mirrors the good work of the rural crime team based in Halesworth, was launched in Stowmarket today. (March 17)

The Rural Crime Unit was originally launched at the end of 2012 to improve engagement with rural communities and businesses on a regular basis, pro-actively patrolling farms and rural spaces to provide reassurance and to deter offenders.  The aim is to reduce common rural problems such as fly-tipping, diesel and heating oil theft, metal theft and anti-social behaviour, as well as gathering intelligence.

Since its introduction, the unit has assisted regular officers to target high profile rural crimes such as hare coursing and livestock rustling. They also take responsible for crime prevention duties and support any rural areas which are identified as having specific problems.

The new team will also use a fully liveried 4×4 vehicle to increase access to the farms, estates and forests of Suffolk where officers have been unable to patrol before due to the terrain. This will also increase the visibility of the constabulary in areas of Suffolk where residents often feel the most vulnerable.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said, “I am really pleased to see that the good work of the original rural team has led to this team being replicated in the west.

“I am totally committed to more visible policing in remote areas and that is why when I was first elected back in 2012, I championed the dedicated team to focus on rural crime.

“The rural economy is important to Suffolk and I am committed to support it. It is not just about farming, there are lots of businesses that rely on visitors to boost the economy and it is crucial that Suffolk maintain its reputation of being a very safe county in which to live, work, travel and invest.”

County Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent, David Skevington said, “Suffolk is a largely rural county, and specific crime and anti-social behaviour issues affect these communities every day. We have seen some fantastic results from our rural crime team so far, and we are now ready to extend this across the county with support from our Special Constabulary.

“The new teams will work with the Safer Neighbourhood Teams already established in their areas to identify specific problems that can be addressed, and to prevent these crimes, sometime committed by organised criminals, from happening in the first place. Relationships with residents and businesses will be key and our officers will work to build on these to ensure that we make our rural communities as safe as possible.”