Police set sights on rural criminals

POLICE chiefs have teamed up with forces from across the region to tackle rural crime.

Dedicated rural crime officers will work together with partners to improve the response to rural crime and to identify illegal activity.

Cleveland Police will encourage those living in rural areas to sign up to an information sharing service which will help the communities.

The force will take part in regional operations targeting travelling criminals, hunting activity, and anti-social use of off-road vehicles which can cause damage to estates, destroy crops and harm livestock.

The initiative is supported by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, who recently addressed a Farm Watch conference and championed activity to support these communities who may have felt vulnerable in the past.

Inspector Dan Maddison, from Cleveland Police, said: “Cleveland Police Force area is predominantly urban but contains large areas of rural and farmland bordering North Yorkshire and Durham force areas. We are going to be working closely with the other Forces in the region as well as our partners to tackle rural crime and the travelling criminals that target vulnerable and rural properties.

“We have days of action planned where we will target and deal with offenders robustly.

“Our message to those offenders is - If you’re using our countryside, woodland or farmland for criminal activity, we’re coming after you.”