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Focus on rural crime in Cleveland

Rural Week of Action Sept 2018

Rural Crime Reduction Officer Paul Payne, Inspector Fay Cole, PCC Barry Coppinger, Chief Constable Mike Veale, Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin

A plan was launched this week to combat crime and fear of crime in Cleveland Police’s rural areas as part of a ‘Rural Week of Action’.

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger chaired the Tees Rural Crime Forum at Cleveland Police’s new Community Safety Hub, Hemlington yesterday.

It was a chance to discuss with those representing Cleveland’s rural communities the new Rural Policing Strategy 2018-21.

The strategy covers how police will focus on a range of issues from farm and agricultural crime to wildlife crime, road safety and even protecting sites of historical or special scientific interest, for example, Eston Hills.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “Shortly after I was elected I established the Tees Rural Crime Forum and as Chair, I have a clear understanding of the need to address issues that matter to those living and working in our rural areas.

“I have attended many local meetings, talked to partners and organisations such as the NFU and other rural groups, and listened carefully to people’s concerns.  I have also supported local safety projects working with partners and communities.

“I support the Rural Policing Strategy as our response to the challenges faced by our rural communities.  It sets out a clear plan of action to address them which we will build on in the future.”

A covert police operation in partnership with neighbouring police forces launched the ‘Rural Week of Action’ during the night of September 6.

Operation Checkpoint is a long-running partnership event which sees police officers, PCSOs, Special Constables and volunteers working together as a visible presence to deter and disrupt criminality.

In total, there were more than 100 Stop Checks conducted between Forces, resulting in 15 searches, three vehicles seized, and one arrest for theft in the Cleveland area.

During the ‘Rural Week of Action’ people will be encouraged to sign up to Cleveland Connected’s ‘Rural Watch Scheme’. This is a messaging system used by Cleveland Police to alert people to suspicious activity or scams active in their area.

The Force will also be offering free ‘Dot Peen’ property marking which makes high value items easy to identify in case of loss or theft – and less attractive to thieves.

Inspector Fay Cole from Cleveland Police said: “This strategy is really important in focussing the right resources on rural crime.

“We know rural communities have problems specific to them whether it’s as a result of isolation or being targeted by organised crime gangs intent on stealing machinery or livestock.

“We will use all the powers available to us to detect and disrupt this criminality. We will continue to work closely with neighbouring police forces and use the expertise of specialist volunteers who have a clear interest in protecting our wildlife and countryside.”

Paul Payne is Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Reduction Officer, he said: “My role has focussed on engaging with rural communities and working out how we can reduce the likelihood of them being affected by crime.

“We’re working to make people more confident about how to protect themselves and to understand the support the police can offer.

“I’m grateful to the officers and volunteers who have assisted in Operation Checkpoint and our ‘Rural Week of Action’. Their passion for rural issues is an asset to us.”

Members of the people can meet officers and volunteers and sign up for Rural Watch at the following events:

Morrisons, West Gate, Guisborough – Thursday September 13 – 3pm-5pm.

On Saturday September 15 the free ‘Dot Peen’ property marking event will take place at Thrushwood Farm, Yearby, Redcar, TS11 8HD, between 9am and noon.

Full details of events can be found on Twitter by following @ClevelandRural

The Rural Policing Strategy for 2018-2021 can be read here.


Posted on Tuesday 11th September 2018
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