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New rural affairs officers for Devon and Cornwall

Two new rural affairs police constables have been announced for communities in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on UK Rural Crime Day (8 November).

PC Martin Beck in Devon and PC Chris Collins in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will improve how the force deals with rural crime.

They will work in partnership to deliver effective problem solving and support neighbourhood officers and other staff.

Their key areas of focus will be:

  • Theft of farm machinery and vehicles
  • Livestock offences
  • Fuel theft
  • Equine offences
  • Poaching (working together with wildlife crime officers)
  • Fly tipping (as members of the national action group).

Inspector Morgan said: “The focus of these officers will be on improving how the force receives, allocates and investigates reports of rural crime in order to support the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Rural Affairs Strategy.

“While they will undoubtedly be involved in hands-on policing they won’t be the only officers involved in dealing with rural crime. Their skills and experience will be leveraged by supporting neighbourhood policing teams with the requisite knowledge, skills and contacts to handle rural matters effectively.

“This work builds on the success of our current Special Constabulary rural engagement team who have, over the past few years, been recognised nationally for the way in which they have offered crime prevention advice, increased the number of Farm Watch scheme members and instigated formal policing operations, such as the Rural Road Safety Roadshow earlier this year.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “Rural crime can have a huge impact on our communities and local economy. Not only do these relatively small and often family-run businesses employ a huge number of people in the region but they also look after the countryside.

“This is something we are absolutely taking seriously and I am really keen to make sure farms and businesses in rural areas are well protected from criminal activity and I look forward to seeing how these new rural affairs officers will play a key role in exactly that.”

More about rural crime including leaflets about property marking, Farm Watch, Horse Watch and Sheep Watch UK: