Rural cops win top accolade

Barry Coppinger
Barry Coppinger
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A CRIME-FIGHTING team has been nominated for an award.

Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime team has been nominated for a prestigious National Farmers Union (NFU) National Country Crime Fighters award.

The team was nominated by a member of the public from the Cleveland area who has seen an improvement over the past year in the support that the rural community has been receiving.

Police have been collaborating on a series of rural crime initiatives, including Operation Checkpoint which took place on Tuesday, September 9.

Seven forces took part, in which 254 vehicles were stopped, three people were arrested, seven vehicles were seized and 17 motorists were fined for a variety of offences.

On Wednesday, September 10, officers took to the rural community to encourage people living in those areas as well as farmers and landowners to sign up to the Rural Watch initiative.

As part of this action Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger attended a briefing in Hartlepool and spoke to members of the community.

Inspector Dan Maddison said: “We are really pleased to have been nominated for the award. We have a number of operations taking place over the coming weeks and we continue to work closely with our neighbouring forces as well as our partners such as the NFU and community groups like Friends of the Nab and Young Farmers.

“Officers and staff have received training and advice from other organisations, such as the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) for patrolling rural areas, and we are committed to combatting crime in the rural areas of Cleveland.”

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I am delighted that our rural crime team has been nominated for this national award. I attended a briefing with rural crime officers on Wednesday evening and spoke to local members of the community about their concerns.

“I have already pledged my commitment to driving down rural crime and it is testament to the hard work and dedication of the force as a whole that the team has been nominated.”