Thousands of pounds worth of suspected stolen agricultural machinery and plant equipment has been recovered during a series of police raids in the UK.
Four warrants were executed by officers in addresses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire last Thursday morning (January 27, 2022), following a renewed commitment by police to tackle rural crime.
At around 8:00a.m, police teams, which included members of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, descended on properties in East Bridgford in Nottinghamshire and Hyde Lane in Derbyshire.
During the operations, police recovered machinery, generators, car and digger parts, trailers, farm vehicles, quad bikes and a quantity of cash, which are all suspected of being stolen.
Two men, aged 23 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of theft, handling stolen goods and conspiracy to commit theft.
Police Response to Rural Crime
The raids follow the unveiling of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s rural crime plan.
"Working together and taking an intelligence-based approach, we were able to coordinate this day of action and target a number of addresses at the same time in our efforts to tackle rural crime," Detective Constable Matt Buckley, who was part of the team, said.
“This approach has ultimately been really successful and we have recovered a significant number of items and made two arrests during this day of action, which we hope shows communities just how seriously we take reports of rural crime," the officer continued.
Sgt. James Ross, who led the operation, grew up on a farm himself and has seen the importance of farm equipment and the devastation caused by such crime.
“When we get a report of equipment having been stolen, this is not only costly in itself for the victims, but we often see that in the midst of these offences, suspects have also damaged farmland, fencing, and valuable crops," Ross explained.
He added that victims can be left out of pocket as well as not being able to conduct their daily business.
"These criminals travel and rural crime has no borders, so it’s really important we have that partnership and we are ready to act wherever they might be,” Ross concluded.