Rural crime was the focus of a special training session for Derbyshire police officers as the force continues its efforts to enhance support for countryside communities.
The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa attended Holly House Farm in Shottle, Belper, to see 12 frontline rural officers increase their knowledge and skills in handling issues such as livestock, machinery theft and wildlife crime.
The session, which included presentations from Andrew Critchlow, Derbyshire NFU County Adviser, was arranged as part of the Commissioner’s drive to improve the expertise of officers in tackling rural crime so they can deliver an enhanced response in their communities. Another session was held earlier this month at Andrew Mycock’s Flagg Farm near Buxton in the north of the county which saw a further 10 rural officers receive training.
Andrew Critchlow said: ‘The training was part of the closer working between the police and the NFU as both organisations strive to reduce rural crime in Derbyshire.
DC Chris Piggott, rural crime field intelligence officer for the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), also updated the officers on 4x4, quad bike and tool theft.
Derbyshire’s new rural crime unit, which is destined to have 27 police officers when it is launched in the spring, represents a major part of the PCC’s ambitions to reduce the crime threat within rural communities.
Commenting on the training, Mr Dhindsa said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Bill and Jean Dilks, and Andrew Mycock and family, for hosting these training events on their family farm and for the contributions of Andrew Critchlow and DC Piggott whose insight into rural crime helped to increase understanding among the rural officers.
“I know from the positive feedback we received how much the officers appreciated the opportunity to meet the farmers and hear their first-hand experiences of rural crime issues.
“Rural crime has a serious financial and emotional impact on rural businesses and residents and threatens livelihoods, which ultimately damages the rural economy.
“To increase confidence among our rural communities, we need to increase trust in the experience and expertise of our officers to deal with these problems and this training is very much targeted towards this.
“Robust intelligence systems are vital for protecting rural communities but we also need to be sharing our resources and expertise with our countryside partners to prevent rural crime and deliver a better response to those who live in the countryside.
“As with the officers working as part of our ground-breaking Wildlife Team, the Rural Crime Unit will be made up of officers undertaking this in addition to their general policing role.”
During the training, officers were trained in issues such as fly grazing, fly tipping, stone wall theft as well as badger baiting and hare coursing. The programme also featured information on the purpose of auction markets and how auctioneers circulate reports of livestock theft.
Liz Hadfield, Wildlife Coordinator for Derbyshire Constabulary, added: “Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to tackling Rural Crime which has a significant financial impact on rural businesses and communities.
“It is important for the officers dealing with incidents of Rural Crime to have a good understanding of rural crime issues and the farming industry. Thanks to the kind hospitality of the host farms and the expertise of Andrew Critchlow of the NFU, the trained officers now have a deeper understanding of the agricultural industry and Rural issues which will contribute to the Force’s robust response to Rural and Wildlife Crime.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 1st February 2017