Suffolk: Rural police unit extended to cover all of county

Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore and Pc Mark Bryant with the new Land Rover

Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore and Pc Mark Bryant with the new Land Rover - Credit: Archant

A police unit targeting criminals hare coursing and livestock rustling has been extended to cover all of Suffolk.

Officers in Mid Suffolk have been carrying out patrols in remote locations as part of the Rural Crime Unit since last year to improve relations with businesses and communities.

Now the unit, which also fights fly-tipping and diesel and heating oil theft, will have officers based in Halesworth and Stowmarket.

Chief inspector Paul Bradford said: “Suffolk is a largely rural county and specific crime and anti-social behaviour issues affect these communities every day. We have seen some fantastic results from our rural crime team so far, and we are now ready to extend this across the county with support from our Special Constabulary.

“The new teams will work with the Safer Neighbourhood Teams already established in their areas to identify specific problems that can be addressed, and to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place.”

The unit is made up of volunteer officers who are led by an inspector and a group of full-time sergeants and constables.

Suffolk police has secured a Land Rover Discovery for a trial four-month period to help officers tackle challenging farm terrain.

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Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner, said: “I am really pleased to see that the good work of the rural team in Mid Suffolk has led to this team being extended.

“I am totally committed to more visible policing in remote areas; I made this promise in my election manifesto.

“The rural economy is important to Suffolk and I am committed to support it. It is not just about farming, there are lots of businesses that rely on visitors to boost the economy and it is crucial that Suffolk has the reputation of being a safe county in which to live, work, travel and invest.”

Suffolk police are also working with Operation Galileo officers in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire to deal with gangs of hare coursers.