A dedicated rural and wildlife crime team is now operating across Derbyshire to tackle issues that affect rural and farming communities.
Priorities for the team include: acquisitive crime such as the theft of farming equipment, preventing the persecution of protected species, and the illegal trade in endangered species.
The team, who had previously focused only on the Derbyshire Dales area of the county, will also work with local communities on area-specific wildlife and rural issues.
The expansion has been paid for with the council tax raise ordered by Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa.
Mr Dhindsa said:
“I have listened to rural communities up and down the county and know they have felt unfairly penalised as a result of the funding cuts of the last nine years.
“Now, thanks to the increase in the amount derived from the local council tax, we are able to boost the capacity of our rural crime team which will make a visible, dedicated difference to the way rural communities can be policed.
“This is what people told me they wanted and I’m delighted for them that we have been able to launch this specialist county-wide team so early in the financial year.”
The newly-expanded team, based at Matlock Police Station, includes seven PCs who are led by a rural crime Sergeant and overseen by an Inspector. It is also further reinforced by special (unpaid) constables and police staff volunteers who have a rural crime focus.
Additional funding from the precept has also allowed for the following new resources, to support the work that officers carry out:
- Police staff who offer rural crime admin and co-ordination support
- Two dedicated drones
- Two additional 4x4s
- A Polaris Ranger Utility Task Vehicle (UTV).
The UTV is not a day-to-day response vehicle, but rather a specialist piece of kit that will allow rural crime officers to patrol previously inaccessible locations. It will also ensure that people and equipment can be transported across remote terrain in emergencies.
Further work is also ongoing to train safer neighbourhood officers across the county, so that they are equipped to respond to the rural and wildlife issues in their local area.
Chief Constable, Peter Goodman said:
“We are committed to making sure we are as responsive as possible to the bespoke needs of our rural communities.
“It is easy, when we have nearly 2000 calls for service a day, to neglect the very real needs of those living and working in the rural environment.
“I am delighted to be able to provide a county wide rural crime team who will work day in day out with our communities prevent crime, deal with antisocial behaviour and protect the most vulnerable using their skills, experience and the latest technology.”
Anyone who wishes to report an incident of rural or wildlife crime is urged to contact us via one of the contact methods below.
Twitter – direct message the contact centre on @DerPolContact
Website – complete the online contact form www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
Phone – call on 101.