A man has been arrested following a recent theft of trailers from Flintshire, North Wales Police’s rural crime team has said.

He was also arrested, as well as another man, on suspicion of the theft of plant and machinery from West Yorkshire, Manchester and Cumbria.

The arrests came after North Wales Police rural crime officers, in partnership with forces in the North East, have been working together in the recovery of stolen machinery and equipment.

Following the theft of trailers from the Bagillt area, the rural crime team partnered with other forces and the National Construction and Agriculture Theft Team (NCATT) to investigate incidents that had also taken place in other areas.

A search warrant was carried out at a property on the outskirts of Lancashire, where the two men from the Manchester area were arrested.

Sgt Peter Evans of the North Wales Police rural crime team said: “What’s vital in the recovery and identification of stolen items is their serial numbers, or identifying marking, or forensic marking like Smartwater.

“If you have machinery, plant or trailers, please make note of everything that could help identify it. Be vigilant and continue to report anything suspicious however small.”

Damage to SSSI in Wrexham

The North Wales Police rural crime team is appealing for information after ‘severe damage’ was caused to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by off-road vehicles.

The vehicles were being driven illegally along a footpath near Glyndyfrdwy on the border of Wrexham and Denbighshire and caused “serious damage” on the blanket bog that surrounds the top of the Moel Fferna peak, the rural crime team said.

The area that was damaged by the off-road vehicles is home to some of Wales’ rarest plants and birds including cloudberry, merlin and hen harriers.

Rural crime team PC Chris James said: “Illegal off-roading at protected sites is an issue the rural crime team and partners are taking very seriously.

“We have been working with officers from Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru/Natural Resources Wales to assess the damage to the site near Glyndyfrdwy, and as a result of illegal off-roading, the area is gradually being eroded, causing increased runoff into the Dee tributaries, which will increase flood events as well as leaching carbon into the atmosphere.

“The area is part of the Berwyn SPA (Special Protected Area) for Schedule 1 birds and this habitat needs to remain intact for the birds to successfully rear chicks.”

James said off-roading in this area is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and it will not be tolerated.