Crackdown on rural crime in Fenland hailed as huge success

A CRACKDOWN on rural crime which has seen police forge a new partnership with senior members of Fenland’s agricultural community has been hailed a huge success almost a year after it was launched.

Operation Randall started in December with a high-profile day of action on the Norfolk-Cambridgeshire border with roadside checks used to identify travelling criminals using the main routes into the county.

It was part of an operation which encouraged farmers and landowners to work with police to help identify, disrupt and deter criminals targeting the countryside.

Intelligence reports to police increased from 34 to just short of 180 since the operation began.

The intelligence has enabled police to link 86 people across the network of criminals connected with Operation Randall and in terms of linked vehicles used by these people, 100 have been linked analytically.

Since the operation started 75 arrests have been made under the banner.

Det Supt Nick Dean, who has led Operation Randall, said: “The operation had several aims, not least to increase the information flow in to the constabulary.

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“We have seen that information comes in and I hope the public can see that we have acted upon it to conduct operations on those who cause most harm to the rural communities.

“There have been significant successes and the operation will continue. I would like to thank partner agencies for their commitment to Operation Randall and to the public for their continuing support. We need to build on this base and explore other ways of tackling and preventing rural crime.”

Operation Randall has focused on crimes ranging from the theft of large farm machinery to fuel and heating oil thefts and wildlife crime.

By working with other agencies, such as the Environment Agency and Trading Standards, those breaking the law could still face action even if the police cannot bring a criminal prosecution.