Farm crime operation launched in Fenland as police look to get tough on rural crime

A NEW alliance between police and senior members of Fenland’s farming community has been launched as officers look to get tough on rural crime.

A high-profile action day on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border yesterday marked the first phase of the new initiative. Roadside checks were carried out to identify travelling criminals using the main routes into the county.

As part of Operation Randall farmers and landowners are encouraged to work with police to help identify, disrupt and deter criminals targeting the countryside.

Det Supt Nick Dean said: “Operation Randall is seeking to target rural crime, in particular those offences that impact on farmers and people who reside or work in isolated locations and whose premises have been vulnerable to attack.”

Operation Randall will focus 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 face action even if the police cannot bring a criminal prosecution.

Tony Bone, director of independent rural security organisation Farm Watch, said:

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“We are very happy to be involved in this scheme and to be working together with the police to crack down on rural crime.”

During yesterday’s roadside checks at locations on the A47, near Wisbech, police teams were joined by officers from the Environment Agency, Trading Standards and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

The team were looking for offences linked to rural crime including those carrying scrap metal or farm machinery, waste carriers operating illegally and tax-dodging motorists running their vehicles on red diesel.

More than 50 vehicles were pulled over and the majority were law-abiding motorists.

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