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Miserable Christmas for criminals as Taskforce leads festive fightback against rural crime

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More than 30 people have been charged to court and reported for summons by North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce this month, capping a successful first year for the team.

Miserable Christmas for criminals as Taskforce leads festive fightback against rural crime

Offences dealt with by the team in December include farm burglary, hare coursing, anti-social use of vehicles causing crop damage, drugs possession and drink driving – all of which will now be put before the courts.

The Taskforce’s extremely busy December has meant that the team has now arrested more than 70 people, and seized more than 30 vehicles suspected of involvement in crime, since operational activity began in April 2016.

Among the incidents the Rural Taskforce have dealt with that have resulted in charges, summons or other disposals this month are:

* A 33-year-old Rotherham man has been reported for summons for a farm burglary in Hawes, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance.

* Five men from Darlington and Cleveland reported for summons for hare coursing near Middleton Tyas.

* Two men from Middlesbrough reported for summons for hare coursing and poaching near Richmond.

* A 32-year-old man from Durham has been reported for summons for criminal damage, damaging crops with a vehicle near Topcliffe.

* A 23-year-old Stokesley man has been reported for summons for possession of cannabis.

* A man has paid £300 as part of a Community Resolution Disposal after causing damage to crops with a vehicle near Yarm.

Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of the Rural Taskforce, said: “It’s important to show our rural communities the work we are doing, and the results we are getting. The team has worked tirelessly this month to target criminals who offend in our rural communities – the very communities we are here to protect.

“Being a victim of a crime could ruin someone’s Christmas – but so could being arrested, charged or reported. And we won’t stop at North Yorkshire’s borders. As our work this month shows, we will go anywhere to hunt down rural criminals, and give them their day in court.”

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce works proactively alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality. You can meet members of the Taskforce at community events throughout the year, including markets, auctions and shows. You can also follow the team’s work on Twitter at @NYPRuralTF or via the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force Facebook page.

The team has also launched a campaign to encourage people to act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, asking residents to note down and report any suspicious activity, particularly in remote or isolated areas, as part of the ‘Call it in’ campaign.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of the Rural Taskforce, said: “Local residents are the best people to recognise when something is not quite right – and if that’s the case, we’d like to hear about it. Please report anything suspicious to the police using the 101 phone number. Even if it doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of information helps us build up a picture and could prove vital in bringing criminals to justice.”

Last modified: December 23, 2016