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Gloucestershire Business News

Week of action to tackle rural crime

Gloucestershire Constabulary, along with partners and volunteers, has begun a week of action to combat rural crime.

Rural Crime Week kicked off at Crickley Hill, with rural crime officers and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust learning about each others' organisations and talking about how they could work together.

The Constabulary is dedicated to providing a compassionate approach as a part of the Police and Crime Commissioners Crime Plan - considering the environment, sustainability, human and animal welfare issues at every opportunity.

Until the end of October, dedicated rural crime officers and volunteers will be targeting issues which affect rural communities including hare coursing and fly-tipping threats to protected species and as well the theft of fuel, machinery and livestock.

Rural and wildlife crime policing lead, Chief Inspector Richard Pegler, said: "The policing of rural and wildlife crime is really important to the constabulary. We want our communities to be prepared and informed as to how they can spot the signs of rural and wildlife crime taking place and how to report them to us.

"We are at the forefront of national policing in how we tackle this type of crime, having well established dedicated officers with specialist equipment and training who understand the community's needs. We will continue to work in partnership across the county to tackle issues highlighted in the national policing strategies, such as machinery and fuel theft and the persecution of badgers and raptors.

"This year I am delighted to launch our week with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, who do a fantastic job of protecting and connecting our wildlife and wild places. Never has there been a more important time for us to have access to open green space for our wellbeing due to the Covid pandemic, but we must understand and appreciate what we have around us and take care of it.

"Rural and wildlife crime is present in our county and we are dedicated to preventing it and minimising the impact that it has."

Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: "Fighting rural crime remains an important part of my refreshed Police and Crime Plan, because I understand how rural communities suffer from being targeted by organised gangs and how difficult it can be for the police to tackle it in widespread areas where resources are less concentrated.

"Rural Crime Week is an opportunity for our dedicated officers to highlight the benefits of working with those communities, making sure they're connected and able to share intelligence whenever they see something suspicious. The days when every village had a local bobby on patrol may be long gone, but tackling crime and preventing it are fundamental.

"Criminals know no borders, so it is essential that we work with others to look at the wider picture, including the local residents who can do so much to help prevent and detect."

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