An update on Rural Crime policing from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE ...
This week I was delighted to join the Sussex Police Rural Crime Team on the Downs near Falmer as they welcomed an additional four police officers, making it the largest dedicated rural crime police taskforce in the south east with 20 officers and PCSOs.
The new members of the team were joined by ACC Jayne Dando, Romy Jackson from the National Farmers Union and local farmer Ben Taylor.
With hubs for the team across the county, Inspector Oli Fisher said his officers were able to provide both a visible presence in more remote areas and reassurance to the farming and rural communities that Sussex Police have the capacity and commitment to tackle rural crime.
With the latest drone technology and more trained drone pilots, the Force can quickly access areas of the countryside that are not easy to reach on foot or in vehicles to support investigations into stolen equipment and locate missing and vulnerable people.
Inspector Fisher said the two new drone pilots were able to increase the aerial surveillance capability to “acres and acres” so that when they are “targeting poaching activity which is hard to spot with the naked eye” the drones allow the team to locate suspects “and the team can vector in resources as necessary.”
Local farmer Ben Taylor (pictured) said the Rural Crime team had made a real difference with ”really proactive policing and many more visits to farms by police officers who are out and about looking for those causing trouble.”
Romy Jackson from the NFU said the Rural Crime team officers were really passionate about their tasks and that was something I heard first-hand from the new members of the team who couldn’t wait to start. There's more information in this short video from my visit.