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Operation to target rural crime in Dorset

Dorset Police’s Special Constables delivered a cross-border operation on the weekend of Saturday 9 August 2014 and Sunday 10 August 2014 to prevent and detect rural crime.

A team of 30 Special Constables from Dorset Police, Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Constabulary patrolled 500 square miles of the rural area between Warminster in Wiltshire and Christchurch in the east of Dorset.

Villages and towns around Mere, Shaftesbury, Blandford, Wimborne, Verwood, Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Brockenhurst were all included in the patrol route.

The operation, led by Dorset Police’s Special Constabulary, involved proactive patrols in communities that have been targeted by criminals committing crime such as burglaries and rural thefts.

Officers carried out stop checks of vehicles travelling in the areas and paid particular attention to those who are known to carry out this type of crime.   

Special Sergeant Ben Muspratt, of Dorset Police, said: “Building on the success of the first Operation Seashell held in April 2014 along with Wiltshire Police, I set around swiftly planning the second to include Hampshire Constabulary also.

“It is very clear that this high visibility operation has had a positive impact on the community. It has demonstrated to residents that all three forces are committed to tackling rural crime.

“Over 200 person and vehicle checks were conducted which sent out a very clear message to criminals that we will not tolerate such activity. At the start of the shift officers located and stopped three known offenders entering private land.

“The Special Constabulary are keen to help tackle rural crime and we plan to carry out a similar operation later this year. Special Constables are unpaid volunteer Police Officers who have the same powers of arrest and wear the same uniform as regular officers performing a wide range of duties. Dorset Police are currently recruiting Special Constables and I would encourage anyone interested in serving their community to look at our website for more information on this unique voluntary role”

Members of the public can help protect themselves and their property from rural crime by following some simple crime prevention steps. Advice and information is available on the Crime Prevention Portal on the Dorset Police website -http://crimeprevention.dorset.police.uk/

Issued: 12 August 2014