Friday, 7 March 2014

DAY 86: Op Festive tackles cross border crime

As part of a joint operation to tackle rural crime, the West Berkshire neighbourhood policing team has been working in partnership with officers from Hampshire Constabulary.

Operation Festive was first set up in January 2012 as a joint operation between police in West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire as well as landowners, farmers and gamekeepers. 

Towards the end of March, officers from the West Berkshire local policing team and Hampshire Constabulary carried out an operation, mainly along the two areas’ border. Approximately 30 local gamekeepers and farmers acted as spotters reporting any suspicious incidents to the police.

Insp Malcolm Whitaker, from Thames Valley Police, said: “This was the first of what we would like to become a series of significant joint operations between the two neighbouring police forces to target criminality and help reduce rural crime in both areas. 

“We would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to help with the operation. It was a quiet evening and we appear to have successfully suppressed any criminal activity as there was virtually no overnight rural crime reported.”

Insp Tim Boennic, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: "Tackling the issues surrounding rural crime is a priority for us. We know the criminals responsible for this activity pay no attention to county borders and our approach to policing is the same.

“We hope this is just the first of many joint operations as part of our commitment to making Hampshire a hostile place for criminals."

During the evening a substantial number of stop checks were completed on vehicles and persons. The checks provided useful intelligence for the force, whilst the feedback from the spotters was very positive. Officers also conducted an area search after a report of a shed break in the Calcot area, but no trace was found of the offenders.

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