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Cross Border Operation Targets Criminals in Rural Dorset

Officers from Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire Special Constabularies have joined forces to tackle crime in our rural communities.

Operation Seashell involved 20 Special officers who worked with Dorset Police colleagues to patrol parts of the Dorset countryside between 7pm on Saturday 02 April and 3am on Sunday 03 April 2016.

Over 50 vehicles were checked on the outskirts of Shaftesbury, Warminster, Salisbury, Blandford, Wimborne, Verwood, Ferndown, Fordingbridge and Ringwood.

Four Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for speeding and having no MOT.

Specials in Ferndown stopped a vehicle and located cannabis paraphernalia which was seized from the occupants.

Specials in the Sixpenny Handley area spotted a vehicle driving on private farm land acting suspiciously. Officers worked with other police units to gain access to the land and locate the vehicle.

Police checks confirmed the driver was a local gamekeeper and had the landowner’s permission to be there.

The most common rural crime offences reported to the police are poaching, theft from outbuildings and theft of agricultural machinery and tools.

North Dorset Special Inspector, Ben Muspratt, who led the operation (pictured left) said: “Operation Seashell is one of several operations Specials are involved with to tackle a wide range of issues affecting local people and businesses.

“We work 24/7 to support operations which run throughout the year at various times of the day or night.

“We hope we make a difference in deterring crimes from happening which often affect people's livelihoods and have a big impact on close-knit communities.

“Being a Special Constable is a fantastic opportunity for members of the public to be ‘part of something more’ and give something back to their community, whether they’re in rural areas or in town centres.”

Inspector Mike Darby, Dorset’s Wildlife Crime lead, added: “We would like people to contact us if they see anything suspicious in the countryside or they are aware of stolen goods being handled or sold, so that we can identify and prosecute offenders whenever possible.

“Please call us on 101, speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or call Crimestoppers for free and anonymously on 0800 555 111. Dial 999 if a crime is in progress.”

Your Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) can provide free crime prevention advice, demonstrate wildlife alarms and carry out surveys at your property.

You can also sign up to Dorset Alert to receive information and advice about crimes or incidents happening in your area or neighbourhood.

For more information about the Special Constabulary, please visit here.


7th April 2016