In order to fight rural, wildlife and heritage crime, Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team has increased in size.
Where the team comprised two police constables (PC) and one police community support officer (PCSO), there is now a dedicated inspector, a sergeant, five PCs, two PCSOs and a neighbourhood engagement officer. The team is supported by three police volunteers and four special constables.
The team has a new rural crime van, which will allow the team to reach more remote areas and rural communities, with the intention that they will be more visible and effective.
The additional resources have been paid for through the national uplift programme and precept funding.
Dorset Police and crime commissioner David Sidwick said: “Fighting rural crime is a priority within the Police and Crime Plan. The need to increase the size of the Rural Crime Team, and to ensure they were sufficiently equipped, was a subject that the I raised with Dorset Police in my first 100 days in office and I am delighted with the significant increase in the teams’ numbers.
“My office has also been working on establishing the Rural Crime Reduction Board which was implemented in early 2022. The board, attended by many partners including Dorset Police, Dorset Community Safety Partnership and the Environment Agency, oversees the delivery of key actions designed to prevent and reduce rural crime. Board members work together to develop projects to tackle issues such as the prevention of rural crime, rural theft, wildlife crime, fly-tipping, and the need to strengthen rural watch schemes.
“I have also ensured that a regional joined-up approach is being taken to fight organised crime in Dorset’s rural communities and the entire South West is working together to reduce the risk of crime. I will continue to work with Dorset’s rural communities, policing teams, and other partners to encourage better communication between victims and the police, increase confidence in reporting crimes and make Dorset the safest county.”
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