Farmers and rural officers unite for day of action
Officers from the Rural Task Force teamed up with farmers, landowners and local residents to tackle crime in rural areas as part of a national day of action.
On Thursday, 8 November 2018, the team are ran an operation in which members of the rural community were out and about in Maidstone and Swale supporting police and contacting officers if they witnessed suspicious activity.
The shift stated with a briefing where the farmers, game keepers and landowners were given maps with grid references. This allowed them to report back to the patrols quickly where incidents were taking place.
During the shift the team dealt with a number of incidents from suspected poaching to traffic offences.
A gamekeeper called the team to report suspicious activity in Ryarsh, West Malling. The officers were quickly on the scene and stopped a Jeep containing five people. A man was reported for driving offences.
In addition to this the team visited a number of farms around the area and issued security advice to landowners.
Though the effort was in support of the national day of action to tackle rural crime, similar patrols are run on a regular basis across Kent and the rural team work closely with local farmers.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw, who co-ordinated the effort said: ‘We wanted to support the national rural policing day of action, however, the day was very much business as usual for my officers and we had some good results.
‘The feedback from the rural community was overwhelmingly positive. Quite often those living in rural areas feel isolated. Our efforts have further opened the channels of communication with people who feel vulnerable to crime, increasing the intelligence we receive and also allowing us to offer crime prevention advice.
‘With the increase in numbers to the rural team in Kent we are keen to send a message to those involved in theft, poaching and hare coursing that people in rural communities are working with us to stop them in their tracks.’