Police crackdown on criminals targeting rural areas

Criminals targeting rural areas have been targeted in a three day operation by West Mercia Police.

Over the past three nights police from across the force have been out on patrol in some of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s most rural areas.

Officers from Safer Neighbourhood Teams, CID and the newly formed Local Policing Priority Teams were supported by volunteers from the Special Constabulary to carry out the successful operation – Operation Farmwatch.

Operation Farmwatch saw vehicles stopped and checked with arrests made for drug offences and drink driving.

Highly visible reassurance patrols were carried with officers stopping and speaking to people parked up in layby’s to check they were ok, in particular lorry drivers parked up for the night.

Key routes throughout the area were targeted along with smaller country lanes.

The aim of the operation was to send a clear message to criminals West Mercia Police will take steps to disrupt them as well as offer reassurance to local communities.

Local policing Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: “We know that the majority of rural crime is committed by travelling criminals, people who are often part of a larger organised network, who travel into our counties to commit crime and as part of our protect campaign we’re committed to disrupting and dismantling these crime groups.

“As part of this three day operation we have provided a highly visible police presence in some of our most rural areas across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to send a clear message to criminals travelling through our counties they’re not welcome.

“I’m really pleased with the results and would like to offer my assurances to our local communities that this operation was not a one off, we will continue to carry out similar operations over the coming months and continue to do all we can to protect our communities.”