Tackling rural and wildlife crime

Derbyshire police's rural crime team will be taking part in a national week of action to help combat rural and wildlife crime in the county.

The week, from Sunday 6 to Sunday 13 October, is being led by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and invites all police forces to 'conduct proactive wildlife and rural crime operations' in order to tackle issues which affect their specific areas.

The team, led by Sergeant James Shirley, will be carrying out proactive work and patrols across Derbyshire with a view to, not only stopping potential crimes, but also engaging with rural communities.

Part of this work will also include a day of skill sharing and training to ensure that officers across the county are equipped to deal with rural and wildlife crimes should they arise.

Sergeant Shirley said: “Following a really successful ‘Rural Crime Day of Action’ last year, the NPCC have decided to expand this into a week’s worth of action.

"This is a great opportunity for us, as a relatively new team, to show our rural communities what we can do and how we can work together to stop crimes that affect their livelihoods.

"Rural and wildlife crime not only directly affects those living or working nearby, but also the wider population of Derbyshire and the millions of visitors our beautiful county attracts each year. If you think you have been a victim of rural crime or have witnessed a wildlife crime, please report it to us using one of the contact methods below.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, said: "As I have gone around the county’s villages over the last three years, rural communities have asked me for more focus on rural crime. As a result of such conversations, Derbyshire now has one of the largest specially trained teams of rural crime officers in the country.

"People tell me they have noticed a difference, which I think has been helped by the new base in Melbourne and a close partnership with the National Farmers’ Union and the farming community.

“In the future we will benefit from the use of the police drone, which can cover vast areas very quickly, and has been paid for by an increase in council tax. We will also see more officers and PCSOs in rural areas. That is what people said they wanted and that is what we will deliver.

"As such, I am fully supportive of the work the team will be undertaking during this rural crime action week and will be attending a number of events during the week to speak to those in our rural communities." 

Wildlife and rural crime can be reported by sending a private message to the Derbyshire Constabulary Facebook page or a direct message to the force's contact centre account on Twitter at @DerPolContact, completing an online contact form by visiting www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us or by calling the non-emergency number 101. 

You can also report anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers and National Farmers’ Union rural crime reporting line on 0800 783 0137.

For the latest information from the rural crime team, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/ruralcrimeteam/ and during Rural Crime Action week, use the hashtags #weekofaction and #wildlifeandruralcrime to see what the team are getting up to. 

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