Officers put focus on rural crime during week of action
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Patrols have been carried out across the county’s countryside including agricultural communities and beauty spots as part of a week-long operation to tackle rural crime.
Staffordshire Police’s Rural and Wildlife Crime Team targeted areas including the Moorlands, parts of the Peak District, along with locations in the centre and south of the county such as Cannock Chase.
The operation, which took place last week, saw officers, supported by the force’s Special Constabulary, visit areas where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour, suspicious activity and Heritage Crime – an offence where damage has been caused to World Heritage Sites, listed buildings, conservation areas and parks.
During the week of action officers executed two search warrants in the Moorlands relating to illegally held firearms where one weapon and ammunition were surrendered. Investigations into that matter are continuing.
In addition during a patrol in Caverswall officers came across a 4x4 being driven on private land where the ground was being churned up. The vehicle was seized.
Local PCSOs carried out patrols around Cannock Chase where they were targeting the illegal use of motorbikes on nature reserves and key animal nesting sites. They also visited the Chase’s Heritage Trail before visiting a number of farms to provide crime prevention advice.
Although the operation was a week long officers say they continue to patrol rural areas and respond to concerns all year round.
Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, commander of Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, is one of the force’s leads for rural and wildlife crime. He said: “Due to their remote locations it is important that our rural communities feel reassured that we are here to act on their concerns – and understand what matters to them.
“While weeks such as this can result in enforcement action being taken they also act as an opportunity for our officers to provide a visible presence in rural communities and gather intelligence on any issues in those locations.
“Our officers have been able to engage with not only residents but visitors to beauty spots to listen to their concerns and also help make people aware of their responsibilities when walking through these locations.
“While this was a dedicated week of action, our officers continue to regularly patrol the county’s rural locations to tackle the crimes impacting those communities.”
PCSO Chad Carrington, pictured above, who is based in Rugeley, helped patrol areas around Cannock Chase during the week of action. PCSO Carrington said: “This was a really good opportunity for us to engage with people at our beauty spots and also target locations where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.
“It was also a chance to be proactive around crime reduction and the visits I carried out to the farms were very positive as I could share some tips and information with them along with finding out any issues they are experiencing.”