People tempted to take part in poaching, lamping or other illegal activity in rural East Cleveland are reminded that Cleveland Police, supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner, are clamping down on crime in the countryside.
A few weeks ago, to the amusement of several local farmers and gamekeepers, a PCSO commandeered a farmer’s tractor after reports of men with a number of dogs seen on farmland near Lingdale in East Cleveland.
The caller was concerned that the men and dogs’ presence would cause alarm to horses and other livestock.
PCSO Paul Payne had been in nearby Charltons to reports of suspected poachers on farmland there and he attended the Lingdale farm to follow the group as they made off.
On spotting the officer the pair made off - only to be pursued by him in the tractor then stopped and questioned in the middle of a field. They were allowed to go on their way after no offences were discovered - however they had to walk some miles back to their vehicle after being refused permission to return via the farmland they had travelled on.
PCSO Paul Payne said: "We are aware that some people come to our rural areas to hunt hares, deer or to ride off road motorcycles as well as to commit other crime.
"We have an effective Farmwatch Scheme in place with police being joined by farmers, landowners and gamekeepers all keeping an eye on the countryside they depend on for their livelihood.
"Anyone tempted to commit rural crime should be aware that regular patrols and targeted operations take place and we will always stop anyone suspected of being involved in criminal activity.
"Although in this case all was found to be in order, the farmers and gamekeepers present appreciated the police response."
PCOS Payne ended by warning would-be rural criminals that he was now in post full time as Rural Crime Officer for Redcar & Cleveland and he vowed to take every step possible to clamp down on countryside crime.
PCC Barry Coppinger added: "The work of our rural crime officers is important in supporting local communities and working with them to tackle crime. I organised a rural crime conference last year and have visited several farms recently with our rural crime officers. Working together we can make a difference."
Mr Coppinger is one of 18 Police and Crime Commissioners who have pledged to support a new National Rural Crime Network.
Posted on Monday 10th February 2014