PCC thanks Rural Crime Team, one year on

Upon re-election, Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill set about fulfilling 8 key manifesto pledges within 100 days of office, including the introduction of a dedicated Rural Crime Team.

PCC thanks Rural Crime Team, one year on

Tuesday 15 August 2017 marks the one year anniversary since the team –including Rural Crime Team co-ordinator PC Claire Dinsdale, rural engagement officer PCSO Tom Balchin and dedicated analyst Killy Tucker – began work to tackle rural crime in a more strategic and coordinated way than ever before in Dorset.

The Commissioner said: “Working with our communities is a core pillar of the new Police & Crime Plan for Dorset. As PCC, it’s important that the views of all communities are taken into account and resources allocated accordingly. Many rural residents and business owners I met with in my first term of office told me of the severe impact rural crime has on livelihoods and that more could be done to demonstrate commitment to policing their rural communities.

“One year on, I would like to thank the Rural Crime Team for the great strides they have made in proactively engaging with our rural communities, disrupting criminals in their tracks and increasing confidence in reporting rural crime. The team has injected energy into the policing of our countryside locally. 

“Many new and bespoke approaches to delivering crime prevention advice have been seen, from the Force tractor, Robo-Crop which captured the attention of thousands, to filming with Countryfile following the thefts of rare bird eggs in Poole Harbour. Internally, the team has delivered enhanced training to call handlers in the Force Command Centre, rural officers and special constables. While there is always more work to be done, we now have consistency across intelligence, investigation and crime prevention. Keep up the good work!”

Already in 2017, without a full year of data, Dorset Police has seen reports of suspicious incidents, such as individuals loitering in rural areas, increase by 46.1% as compared with 2016, while reports of suspicious vehicles nearby farms have increased by 65.7%.

Dorset Police has also had more poaching incidents reported so far this year than were reported for the full year of 2016, underlining the positive impact that the Rural Crime Team is having in encouraging crime reporting among our rural communities. 

PC Claire Dinsdale said: “The Dorset Police Rural Crime Team was set up in August last year to provide dedicated resources to prevent and tackle criminality in the countryside. We’ve had a busy first 12 months including the first restraining order in Dorset for poaching and several people being dealt with for theft and livestock worrying. 

 “We’ve been actively encouraging members of the community to report crime and suspicious incidents which has given us a broad intelligence picture, enabling us to actively target those criminals causing the most harm. We’ve also been sharing simple steps people can take to protect themselves and their property.

“It is critical property is marked, with expensive items being fitted with trackers. Early warning alarms can also give instant notification an intruder is trespassing. For bespoke crime prevention advice contact the Rural Crime Team by visiting www.dorset.police.uk/RuralCrime.” 

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