Crack team to tackle Derbyshire’s countryside crime

Sgt Trevor Steed is congratulated by Derbyshire PCC Hardyal Dhindsa
Sgt Trevor Steed is congratulated by Derbyshire PCC Hardyal Dhindsa

A crack team for crime fighters is being assembled to tackle thieves who target rural areas.

Derbyshire Constabulary’s 27-strong Rural Crime Unit has been developed following Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa’s call for the force to consider ways in which the service provided to rural communities could be strengthened.

He commented: “This is a very good news for our rural communities and farmers who have told me of the serious effects of high value crime and how devastating it can be to their businesses.”

The newly configured rural crime team is to be launched in the spring.

“It will enable a more co-ordinated approach that engages with those who live and work in rural communities and numerous partner agencies and experts,” he added.

“Loosely following the experiences of the successful North Wales Rural Crime Unit, it will focus not just on wildlife crime but also will be targeting the wider problems of rural crime and the additional issues associated with environmental and heritage crimes.”

After an assessment of crime figures over the past two years with a view to providing greater support to rural communities, a paper recommending a Rural Crime Unit was submitted to the Strategic Governance Board through the Chief Constable’s Office and supported by the PCC. The paper included research by the force’s Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam and a comparison with North Wales Rural Crime Unit which deals with similar crime problems to those in Derbyshire.

The team will tackle a range of duties including working to improve crime prevention and security, targeting thefts from rural areas of plant and farm machinery, fuel, scrap metal and vehicles, and theft of livestock.