Crackdown on rural crime

POLICE have been cracking down on rural crime.

Operation Engage tackles crime including theft of fuel, plant machinery and other equipment from farm and domestic premises in rural parts of Wiltshire, as well as the misuse of red diesel.

The latest operation, overnight on April 27, involved officers from the Tidworth, Amesbury and Pewsey Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Wiltshire Roads Policing Unit, Wiltshire and Hampshire Special Constabularies, The Royal military Police and Custom and Excise (HMRC), supported by volunteers from the community.

The operation saw 45 vehicles stopped and checked, and the tanks of 25 vehicles were dipped for red diesel and other illegal fuels.

Three breath tests were carries out, which were all negative, and two penalty notices for possession of controlled drugs were issued.

A driver suspected of driving under the influence underwent a field impairment test, and one vehicle defect notice was issued.

Sgt Martin Phipps from the Tidworth Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “I am delighted that we have so many members of the public who are keen to work with us to ensure that the area is not seen as an easy target for crime and have resolved to support their local police by being their ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground.

“This enables us to cover larger areas and target criminals in a far more effective way. By working in conjunction with other agencies such as HMRC we can arrest these individuals and seize their vehicles if they are flouting the law by using untaxed or stolen fuels.”

The operation will be continuing over the next few months.

Anyone with information regarding rural crime is asked to contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.

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