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Officers in the Rural Crime Team at Northamptonshire Police have received a boost after taking delivery of a new trailer designed to help them engage with rural and farming communities.
Funded by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the purpose-built trailer is equipped with three internal video screens, a tablet device, and is fully accessible via ramps, while outside it features rural scenes and a tailgate designed to look like a livestock trailer, complete with stickers bearing rural crime prevention advice.
The idea was the brainchild of Rural Crime Team (RCT) officer PC Hutch Hutchings, after he set out to boost Force engagement with people at the large-scale rural events the RCT normally attends across the county, like cattle markets and county fairs.
PC Hutchings said: “It’s so important for us to be visible and accessible to our farming and rural communities and our hope is that this trailer will really help us meet both those aims.
“Back in 2019 Operation Stock, our investigation into illegal sheep butchery, proved just how valuable engagement with our rural communities is, and we were determined to keep that momentum up.
“It shouldn’t be the case that we only talk to the public when there’s a big investigation underway, we need to be out in the places our rural communities go so we can listen to their concerns, and provide help and advice to anyone who needs it.”
The twin-axle Kompak trailer was officially launched at Kelmarsh Hall with a socially-distanced handover from Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold to members of the Rural Crime Team and the Force’s Chief Constable Nick Adderley.
Mr Adderley said: “I’m delighted to see this trailer going into active service with our rural officers, and am sure it’s going to be really useful in supporting their work. I’m very clear that as a Force, we must be accessible to the communities we serve, which very much includes our rural residents. I want our Force to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to fighting rural crime, so we continue to provide an effective and professional policing service to everyone in our county.”
Mr Mold added: “I am delighted to have funded this trailer, which I think will give us an improved and more visible presence in our rural communities.
“Northamptonshire is a predominantly rural county, and this is about making sure that those residents who may feel more vulnerable are assured that we are there for them and that rural communities are given the attention that they deserve.
“One of my key action plans as Commissioner was to tackle rural crime, and we have been working jointly with Northamptonshire Police since 2015 on the Rural Action campaign. We also created a Rural Delivery Group to involve people who live in rural communities in the fight to reduce crime and increase confidence in policing. The idea for this trailer stemmed from conversations two years ago within that group, and it is fantastic to see it here today and know that it will be out and about soon and will allow us to proactively engage with our rural residents.”