Bedfordshire Police is celebrating the outstanding success of its Rural Crime Team by taking on four new PCSOs.
PCSOs Giovanna Traetto, Lynne Wells, Ben Oxley and Anthony Seamarks are the latest members of the country crimebusters in the specialist team which by September will have grown to include a sergeant, five police constables and four PCSOs under the supervision of a chief inspector and a superintendent.
The team, known as Op Sentinel Rural, was created after Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kathryn Holloway promised to create a fairer deal on policing for those who live in the countryside. In just six months, the team has chalked up an impressive list of successful operations.
These include more than 900 speed checks, 39 vehicles seized, 87 traffic offences detected, 26 speeding offences, nine arrests, four people found fly-tipping, 83 crime intelligence submissions, 16 verbal warnings, four Stop and Search interventions, one street caution for cannabis, and 16 verbal warnings.
Commissioner Holloway said: “This unit has proved its worth beyond all reasonable doubt and I’m absolutely delighted to welcome four experienced PCSOs to expand it still further and build links in person with Bedfordshire’s country communities.
“I’m told by farmers, who’ve experienced years of feeling ignored by police ,of their enormous gratitude to the team. For example, there are now daily patrols to visit those who have faced the nuisance and intimidation of fly-tipping and crop destruction through mopeds and quad bikes, particularly in South West Bedfordshire.
“This is a county-wide effort though, and the team are involved in everything from preventing hare-coursing on which hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of bets are placed, providing equality in policing of both hunt saboteurs and those who would break the law governing hunts, and dealing with wildlife crimes such as the disturbance of badger setts, as one example.
“When you see so many badgers by the roadside in our county, you know many have in fact been hunted, killed and placed there to cover this up, as I know well, living in the Bedfordshire countryside myself.”
Contact the Rural Crime Team at opsentinel. rural@Bedfordshire.pnn. police.uk