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Swoop on East Lancashire rural crime a success
9:00am Tuesday 9th October 2012 in News
A WEEK-long operation to combat rural crime in Lancashire has been hailed a success.
Police stop checked 688 vehicles, seizing six of them and made 16 arrests for a variety of offences inc-luding theft from rural buildings and poaching during the crackdown, which was codenamed Operation Firecrest.
Almost £16,000-worth of property was recovered, more than 55 rural crime suspects were visited and handed warning letters and officers also visited 22 scrap yards as part of the week long operation which ended on Sunday.
In addition, officers made 161 crime prevention visits to farms and other rural properties, produced a special farm watch crime prevention video and signed up dozens of new members to rural watch schemes ensuring that the fight against rural crime continues long after the week of targeted action.
Lancashire Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “The initial results from Operation Firecrest are encouraging both in terms of targeting offenders and providing reassurance to local rural communities.
“We made numerous arrests and seized a variety of vehicles so enquiries are still ongoing but I am confident that the operation has sent a clear message to people involved in rural crime that both police and communities will not tolerate this type of behaviour.
“I am also tremendously encouraged by the support we’ve received from rural communities throughout the operation. They have readily taken on board crime prevention advice and seem very keen to join to local rural watch and farm watch schemes in a bid to help us combat crime in future.”
He added: “We are not complacent. This is an on-going operation and our work to target and identify those involved in rural crime and bring them to justice will continue.”
Anybody who would like to speak to an officer to discuss concerns about rural crime or report suspicious activity that they have seen and not yet reported should contact local police on 101.