Wiltshire Police’s Rural Crime Team praised in House of Commons

Wiltshire Police’s Rural Crime Team were praised in the House of Commons last night with recognition from a local MP.

During a debate about ‘Rural Policing and Hare Coursing’ Salisbury MP John Glen paid tribute to the Force and the work carried out by the Rural Crime Team.

In his speech Mr Glen said: “I pay tribute to Wiltshire Police force. Its officers do very difficult work in challenging circumstances, and they should be commended for the innovative steps that they are taking to improve their response to rural crime.

“The general quality of their work was acknowledged by last week’s report from Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, ranking them good across the board. Wiltshire Police have put in place a number of initiatives, including funding six dedicated wildlife crime officers, and I welcome the news that further funding has been secured to train another five.

“I recognise the apparent logic of weighting police funding by population size and demography, but cases such as hare coursing demonstrate that rural areas require specialist resources to ensure that isolated and sparser populated communities do not feel abandoned by law enforcement.”

The debate was held to discuss the issues hare coursing causes rural communities and the issues faced by forces like Wiltshire Police in tackling them effectively.

Superintendent Phil Staynings, Head of Crime Prevention at Wiltshire Police said “Wiltshire Police recognise the impact hare coursing can have on the rural community both emotionally and financially.

“Wiltshire Police with continue to deal with those that break the law and continue to focus its time effort and energy into combating the problem.

“In Wiltshire we now have an established rural crime partnership which considers these issues in more detail.

“The rural crime team led by Pc Marc Jackson are routinely proactive in dealing with these issues, drawing on resources from across the partnership and wider in dealing with these problems.

“Issues such as hare coursing are at the forefront of Wiltshire’s approach to rural crime and the development of an integrated activity matrix involving key partners such as the National Farmers Union is key in ensuring the coordination of an effective response both now and in the future.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said:  “I was delighted to hear the warm words of praise from Mr Glen in the Commons.
“I have seen this  first hand when I have accompanied the rural crime team,  and more recently on Special Constabulary Operation Drogo – the excellent work which is going on to keep our rural communities safe and secure.
“In my new Police and Crime Plan, my first priority is to prevent crime and keep people safe.
“In my plan I promise to ensure that Wiltshire Police has the training, skills and specialist support to deal with rural crime as a core part of community policing. This will be supported by an active rural; crime partnership and the Special Constabulary.”