Posted on 27 December, 2017Comments (0)

Rural Crime Meeting – 20th November 2017

Rural Crime Meeting – 20th November 2017

I attended the above meeting which was hosted by the police, country watch, EHDC and others at Penns Place. The subjects covered included cyber-crimes, abuse, flytipping, hare coursing, livestock worrying, nuisance caused by off-roader motor cyclists. Sadly, although I know that an invitation was sent out to Parish Councils, community groups and other interested persons, within the EHDC district, only about 40 people turned up.

There is, at present, 1 Inspector, 3 sergeants, 6 PC’s and 23.5! PCSO’s covering 3 bases in this area. This number is constantly changing as staff retire, move areas or status. 85% of Hampshire is designated rural and yet only 26% of the counties residents live in rural areas. This means that a ‘local’ police team may need to travel some distance to an incident. They may not have a deep knowledge of the area they are working in as the incident could be taking place off a track with no name or postcode. The site may be known by a local name that does not appear on any map. Please give as much information as you can to help the Police find the site of the incident.

We were told that much of the crime now is cyber related or behind closed doors and so there are staff working in offices, who we never see, trying to trace:

Livestock worrying. There have been 60 cases of livestock worrying since 1st Jan 17. The owners of the dog concerned may think it is just playing with the livestock and not causing any harm but any contact between an out of control dog and livestock is unlikely to have a happy ending. Remember a farmer can shoot a dog caught in the act of worrying livestock.

Off-road motor cyclists. If they are accused of harassment or causing a nuisance when riding they can, in Hampshire, have their bikes confiscated. This is proving to be quite a successful deterrent.

Hare coursing. In Hampshire the police can confiscate any dogs and vehicles found to be involved in hare coursing.

The following info has been sent to me by one the PCSO’s involved in the country watch scheme: If there is something happening on your land at the time of your call then phone 999 and quote OP Thornley. This is the Hampshire Constabulary name for all Poaching and trespassing incidents on farm land. If the incident is discovered the next day or later then please call 101 to report the issue and the caller will be given an incident number.

Country Watch have an Inspector, a Sargent and seven Police Officers as well as seven Special Constables who give up their own time to work with Country Watch Officers. There is usually at least one Country Watch Officer on duty. All Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers do have some training in Line with Country Watch Crimes. Inspector KORINE BISHOP is the Country Watch Inspector.

Fly tipping. There is a rise in fly tipping as I am sure we are all aware as we drive around the local area. The contact at EHDC is Sonja Reames, Environmental Enforcement Officer, 01730 234061 or Sonja.reames@easthants.gov.uk. She is also the contact for abandoned cars.

If you see anything unusual the Police ask that you get as much information as you are able – provided you do not put yourself at risk. We were assured that the 101 system has been up-graded in the last month and is now working much more efficiently.

There is a new free phone app – the Self Evident app -which makes it easier for you to file a crime report to the police, send photo and video evidence, record a reliable statement, keep a secure record of your report  and evidence and validate the evidence you have captured.

More information can be found on the web www.justevidence.org

A relatively new spray which, invisible to the naked eye, can be used on equipment/devices etc and its DNA registered with the police. If something is stolen and then found, its distinct DNA can be traced back to the owner. The police have, apparently, used it very successfully. Again more info can be found on the web www.selectadna.co.uk

I am not advocating any of the gadgets mentioned just passing on information from the meeting.

Jenny Lewis for Bentworth Parish Council

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