Dedicated operation to disrupt rural crime in Winchester
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Officers from the Winchester Greater Neighbourhood Policing Team joined forces with partnership agencies today for an operation to tackle criminality in rural areas.
Officers from the neighbourhood team, Country Watch, and the Roads Policing Unit were supported by the Environment Agency and Winchester City Council as they went out on patrol across the Winchester Greater area. This operation was in response to recent criminality in the area.
The operation was specifically aimed at tackling plant thefts, dwelling and non-dwelling burglaries, and vehicle crime.
The aim was to identify those responsible for committing crime in the area, gathering intelligence through the use of stop checks on vehicles, and to provide reassurance to the community.
During the course of the operation over 55 vehicles were stopped in the area, including the following traffic related enforcements:
• 7 PG9 prohibition notices were issued for vehicle defects
• 2 vehicles were seized for driving without insurance
• 2 vehicles were searched under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act
• 11 traffic endorsable offences, such as bald tires, were dealt with
• 5 people were referred to the Environmental Agency for issues with waste carrier licenses
• 2 vehicles were dealt with by the DVSA for being overweight.
PC Ian Bassett, of the Country Watch team, said: “These days of action are important for us to address ongoing issues, and to provide reassurance to our communities that we take their concerns seriously.
“We use an intelligence led approach, and will use whatever tactics necessary to disrupt and deter criminality.
"I am aware that there has been a significant rise in the theft of catalytic converters in the area, operations such as these go along way to disrupt those involved in this type of offence.
“I would like to assure residents and landowners that we take rural crime extremely seriously. We are conducting patrols in rural areas but we would urge anyone to ensure as far as possible to secure and alarm their buildings and property mark their equipment. Consider installing CCTV, tracker devices, automatic security lights and intruder alarm systems.
“Try not to leave any valuables in your vehicles, and where possible park in well-lit areas or keep your vehicles secure in a garage.
“Rural crime is a priority for us and we will continue to relentlessly pursue suspects. The community are our eyes and ears and we encourage you to report all incidents as soon as you are able to by calling 101 if it’s not an emergency. If it’s happening there and then, always call 999."