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Gloucestershire Business News

Businesses equip police with off-road vehicles to hit rural criminals

Poachers, hare coursers and rural criminals generally will be given a proper run for their money in Gloucestershire after businesses decided to give county police the upper hand.

Police fighting rural crime can now ride toe the rescue on two new all-terrain vehicles courtesy of a trio of companies, two of which are from the county.

Officers can no give chase whatever the terrain on board a Polaris Ranger off road buggy and a Suzuki King Quad 4x4, on loan from Cotswold Farm Machinery and Chedworth-based Logic as well as Worcestershire-based Ace ATV.

According to police the new kit will "be used throughout the county, responding to reports of poaching, hare coursing and other crimes".

Simon Carrington, managing director of Cotswold Farm Machinery, based at Fosse Cross, Cheltenham, said: "We have supplied these vehicles to support the police in dealing with crimes that affect the whole community as we have seen the devastating impact rural crime has on our customers and their families.

"We recognise that these are challenging times for everyone and wanted to do something positive to address the issues."

Inspector Karen Ellis: "We are very grateful to Cotswold Farm Machinery, Logic and Ace ATV for the loan of these high-powered vehicles and equipment to help our fight against rural crime.

"They are already in service and our rural crime officers are being trained to use them off-road so they will be available anywhere in the county as required.

"We are confident that they will make a significant difference to our ability to catch offenders and put a stop to the crimes they are committing, including poaching of deer and fish, hare coursing, illegal off-road motor and quad bike racing as well as rural burglary and the theft of agricultural machinery.

"We will be able to go anywhere, during any weather conditions, and this greatly improves our chances of catching criminals red-handed,especially during this year's anti hare coursing operations throughout the summer ( Operation Firefly).

"The vehicles could also be used to help locate missing vulnerable people in remote locations."

Martin Surl, police and crime commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: "Taking the larger vehicles deeper in to rural areas isn't always possible, so having these two off-roaders makes perfect sense.

"Officers will be able to get to those hard-to-reach places much quicker and more effectively, to bring offenders to justice, find and collect evidence and help victims."

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