Suffolk gets extra police officer to tackle rural crime

From left to right: Pc Kevin Stollery, Sgt Brian Calver Temp Ch Insp Andy Martin, police and crime c

From left to right: Pc Kevin Stollery, Sgt Brian Calver Temp Ch Insp Andy Martin, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore; Pc Colin Taylor and Pc Andre de Jongh. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

Hare coursers, farm thieves and illegal hunters had better watch out - because a police team tackling rural crime across Suffolk has got an extra officer on the beat.

Pc Colin Taylor will now join Pc Andre de Jongh, Pc Kevin Stollery and Sgt Brian Calver in their quest to stop countryside crime in the county.

And to help them, they will also get use of a new specialised vehicle which will transport a drone, to help them catch any criminals.

Pc Taylor said: “I have always enjoyed the outdoor life and grew up in a farm-working family.

“In my early 20s, I worked in farming full-time before joining the police 17 and a half years ago.

“I am passionate about the countryside and the rural way of life.

“I have a keen interest in the history and heritage of our countryside and look forward to engaging with the rural community and partner agencies to share information and tackle rural, wildlife and heritage issues.”

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Pc Taylor’s role has come from funding provided by Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore’s 4.69% increase to the policing element of council tax precept for this financial year.

Alongside his three colleagues, Pc Taylor will also speak to farmers and landowners to provide crime prevention and support, as well as liaising with wildlife agencies and other neighbouring police forces on rural crime.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones said: “To be able to provide this drone vehicle will enhance our ability to swiftly get to incidents that are based around rural or wildlife issues.

The drone will also be used in the prevention and detecting of rural thefts, heritage crimes, monitoring large scale fires and missing person searches.

“I am confident that it will make a significant contribution to our work with partners to keep our rural communities safe.”

The officers, who have all undertaken nationally recognised specialist wildlife and rural police training, will be based at Bury St Edmunds and Halesworth.

They will also be on hand to provide other officers with specialist advice and expertise.

The team will be training other officers on issues such as hare coursing and hunting.

Mr Passmore said: “This expansion of the rural crime policing team is especially welcome.

“The remote nature of our many rural settlements can result in a greater threat from criminals due to their isolated locations.

“People who live in rural areas pay their taxes the same as everyone else so it is important to me as PCC that the whole county receives its fair share of policing resources.

“The intention is to make the whole of Suffolk a particularly hostile place for criminals, including our remote market towns and villages.”