Update on rural crime activity

Alert message sent 17/11/2020 13:24:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

The Wiltshire Police Rural Crime Team have been working closely with community policing teams and partner agencies across the county to tackle rural crime.

Since the introduction of the new dedicated rural crime officers in September, our ability to run projects and focus on prevention alongside our partners has increased.

In recent weeks, we have attended many reports of illegal hare coursing, other rural crime incidents and worked with local volunteers on prevention initiatives. Here is a summary of some of the incidents we have attended:

- We received a report of five men suspected of illegal hare coursing in Berwick St James, near Amesbury. Our local community policing team attended, and after working in conjunction with our rural crime officers, all five men were questioned, had their vehicle seized, and were later released under investigation.

- A vehicle linked to several rural crime incidents failed to stop for officers in Devizes after it had been reported to be driving across fields. A police unit picked up the vehicle again hours later, but the suspects had fled the scene. The vehicle was subsequently seized, and our enquiries continue.

- We received a report of illegal hare coursing in West Grafton. Our local community policing teams attended, and two men were arrested as well as their vehicle seized. Both men have been released under investigation and our enquiries continue.

- We received a report of an abandoned vehicle in a field. On further inspection, the vehicle has links to several other rural crime incidents, and it appeared it had been driving across fields. The vehicle was seized, and enquiries are ongoing to identify the owner.

- We received reports of suspected illegal hare coursing in the Alton Barnes area. Officers attended the location and pursued the vehicle. Unfortunately, we lost sight of the suspects, but the vehicle was seized and enquiries continue.

- Members of the Rural Crime Team, Salisbury CPT and Roads Policing Unit joined forces with local volunteers on 13 November to patrol Chalke Valley, near Salisbury. No arrests or incidents to report but good to work with local volunteers on prevention initiatives.

We are determined to make Wiltshire and Swindon a county that criminals fear and think twice about before entering.

We encourage our communities to report all rural crimes, however small, via 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.
Message sent by
Shea D'arcy (Police, Communications Officer, Wiltshire)

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