Three police forces braved the cold weather to come together to highlight their commitment to tackling rural crime in a special operation.
Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire forces took the opportunity to show a united front and highlight the work they do.
Officers were out and about in the Three Shires Head area between Thursday 17 January and Saturday 19 January providing a visible presence so they could speak to the rural communities, disrupt criminality and gather information.
On Thursday evening officers were also joined by a group of community volunteers during a rural night of action. Traditionally the winter months are an active time of year for rural crime. Outbuildings, sheds and barns are often broken into with offenders stealing vehicles, machinery and tools.
In Cheshire there were four arrests – all for drink or drug driving, one traffic offence report, one cannabis warning issued and one vehicle seizure. On the Friday evening a dusting of snow meant that officers spent most of the evening helping motorists struggling in the conditions.
Cheshire police and crime commissioner, David Keane, said: “Tackling rural crime is one of my key priorities as police and crime commissioner so it is pleasing to see that police in Cheshire are working with neighbouring forces to reduce the type of crimes which can have a big impact on our rural communities.
“When we launched our new Rural Policing Strategy late last year, we committed to carrying out nights of action on a regular basis in all of our rural communities.
“Working with neighbouring forces is vital in this commitment to ensure police are targeting cross-border criminals who travel across all three counties to commit offences.”
Inspector Daron Abbott, operational lead for the Derbyshire rural crime team, said: “This highlights our commitment to tackling rural crime. The partnership work with other forces is a vital element of that as we know criminals travel across county borders to commit crime. Operations such as this disrupt and frustrate criminals and send a message that we will not tolerate their activities.
“I must also praise the support of our volunteers. They act as our eyes and ears and assist in flooding an area with staff to protect the areas they live in. Their support allows us to do so much more.”
All three constabularies are committed to working with and supporting those who live and work in the countryside. The teams have access to a variety of vehicles and equipment to help police such a challenging environment, including specialist off road vehicles and night vison equipment.
This latest operation gave officers the opportunity to ensure that they continue to work closely together to disrupt criminals and prevent crime.
Sergeant Rob Peacock, deputy commander for the Staffordshire Moorlands neighbourhood policing team, said: “There has been some really positive teamwork between the three forces over the last few days and I hope the increased presence has provided reassurance and deterred those planning wrongdoing.
“This operation is part of an ongoing plan to tackle rural and wildlife crime in the Staffordshire Moorlands. We have had some positive successes recently around rural thefts and I am confident we can continue to disrupt criminal activity in rural areas.”
Working together provides an opportunity for officers to share intelligence on criminals and as a result they are able to piece bits of the jigsaw together to identify suspects and disrupt patterns of crime.
Sergeant Rob Simpson, from Cheshire Constabulary, added: “All three counties are blessed with beautiful scenery that draws visitors from across the country but unfortunately there are some who take advantage and commit offences.
“As we continue to move forward, we want to reassure our rural communities that we are all committed to delivering a high standard of policing for them.”
See the work carried out by officers tackling rural crime on Twitter by following @CheshPolRural @PoliceMacc.