A day of action which focused solely on rural crime took place last week and yielded a number of results and significant pieces of intelligence.
Northamptonshire’s Rural Crime Team has doubled in recent weeks and last Friday, Operation Connect was launched – an intensive six-month campaign of enforcement and community engagement activity which will target criminals whose crimes threaten the livelihoods of farmers and our rural communities across the county.
The first day of action happened in Oundle and saw 29 vehicles stopped, five people stopped, intelligence on a potential catalytic converter thief gathered, and plant machinery recovered and returned to its rightful owner.
Night-time operations will also take place and the first one also happened last week in the Daventry and Preston Capes areas. Patrols were undertaken throughout the night – farms were checked for insecurities and suspicious vehicles were challenged.
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Chris Thomas, said: “Rural communities can often feel overlooked when it comes to policing so I hope the launch of Operation Connect and the doubling of the Force’s Rural Crime Team reassures people that their livelihoods and their safety is just as important to us as other areas of the county.
“The farmers we have spoken to so far are really pleased to see the investment we have made and it’s been heartening to hear how much they want to work with us to tackle rural crime.
“Enforcement activity will be by way of specific day-time and night-time operations and we will be utilising every form of technology, including high performance vehicles and thermal imaging drones, to both tackle and prevent crime.
“We would ask people to continue to contact us when they see anything they think is suspicious so we can be on the front foot and bring those who threaten the livelihoods of our farmers and rural communities to justice.”