Friday, 30 August 2013

Windsor team arrest man for hunting offences during 100 days of action

On Tuesday evening (27/8), the team in Windsor responded to a call from a local farmer reporting people trespassing on his land with lamps and guns near Crimp Hill Road in Windsor.
Following a swift response from the officers, a group of young people were found carrying bags, air rifles and lamps. All were searched and one man was found to be in possession of a dead rabbit and was arrested for hunting act offences.
During the interview the 21 year-old man from Slough made admissions and was given a caution.
If you spot suspicious activity and think people may be hunting in your area, call 101 to report it or if the crime is in progress, call 999.

DAY 14 and 15: Multi-agency ANPR operation to tackle metal thefts in Maidenhead

The aim of this operation using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras was to disrupt and prevent crime in the rural area by pulling over vehicles of interest, or those which have been highlighted as ‘used in crime’ previously.
Although the team were specifically on the lookout for vehicles which could be linked with rural crime and in particular, metal thefts (metal theft is often linked to rural crime as stolen agricultural machinery and tools can be sold on illegally as scrap metal), other offences and the offenders are caught during these operations because obviously, you never know who is going to be driving past!
The ‘multi-agency’ bit of the operation came in the form of support from VOSA (with the Environment Agency and Datatag helping out on Day 15). VOSA are able to use specific ‘civil’ powers such as prohibition orders which are used to get dangerous cars and vehicles off the road and keep them off if until they conform to the legal MOT standards.
During the operation, the police team pulled over a car for no insurance which was then seized under Section 165. As VOSA were there too, they carried out checks and were able to put a prohibition order onto the vehicle for two bald tyres and a frayed seatbelt. This means the driver can’t simply drive away an un-roadworthy vehicle once insurance has been sorted out under the Police order.

Car being seized for no insurance and at the same time was put on a prohibition order for being un-roadworthy

The team also pulled over larger, commercial vehicles like Transit vans and flat bed trucks or others which are often used to steal larger farm tools or ferry stolen scrap metal from one place to another. The team set up on the A4 and throughout the day pulled over 18 of these types of vehicles and all appeared to be in order!

Police officer and VOSA making sure all is in order with a flat bed truck

Thursday, 29 August 2013

DAY 13: Windsor and Maidenhead team set up shop

The Windsor and Maidenhead team had a successful day yesterday setting up the mobile police station at the Windsor Farm Shop. Between 11am and 4pm, the team had a steady flow of visitors coming to see them throughout the day and as well as rural crime prevention advice, they spoke to many non-farming residents about metal theft, fly tipping and general home security.

The team at Windsor Farm Shop

Anne Chalmers, the Crime Prevention and Reduction Advisor for the area then crewed up with two officers and headed out to Windsor where they visited seven farms and 10 farms in Ascot to discuss access security, agricultural machinery marking and oil and diesel security. Six of the residents visited signed up to Country Watch Alerts (the others were already signed up!).
Nigel Berryman, who farms on the Crown Estate said of the advice he has recieved: “I’ve certainly found it very useful. For us living on the urban fringe it’s great to see the police being more proactive with rural crime than they have ever been before.”
Anne and the team have more visits to do this week in the Maidenhead area, so keep a look out for them!
If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the Country Watch messaging system yet, visit the site and sign yourself up. You will receive up to date crime news, witness appeals and crime prevention advice from your local neighbourhood policing team which is relevant to you area and the rural and farming community. You can also find some useful advice on the site about how to better protect your property and land.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

DAY 12: Datatag security marking event at Wheatlands Farm

For their second day, the team on Wokingham LPA took on a day of rural crime prevention action in the form of security marking with Thames Valley Rural Crime Partners, Datatag.
The team set up at Wheatlands Farm in Finchampstead and throughout the day fitted two farm vehicles with the Datatag security kit and 23 saddles marked in total using the saddles security system supplied by Datatag and an engraving tool.
Nicola Greenward, who is a member of the Rural Crime Action Group and was on site throughout the day, said she was pleased with the turnout and some people had driven over specifically to get their tack marked.
There was lots of interest expressed at the event, in particular for another event to be held in conjunction with a pony or riding club where horseboxes and trailer could also be security marked.
If you’re part of a pony or riding club and would like to hold an event of your own, get in touch with your local neighbourhood team by calling 101 or email them via the website.
Thames Valley Police continue to offer a discount on Datatag’s plant machinery and tack marking security systems to residents living in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. The standard price for the CESAR kit is £178.80 (including VAT). The Thames Valley Police discount allows residents to have the kit installed for £105.60 (including VAT).

Rural police officers speak to a passer by on a routine patrol

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

DAY 11: Wokingham neighbourhood team attend Swallowfield Show

The Wokingham LPA began the first of their five days on a hot and sunny (for once!) bank holiday weekend, setting up shop at the Swallowfield Show at Spencers Wood.
Showing off the very fancy police tractor and 4x4, the team, which consisted of PCSO Suzie Carr and PCSO Natalie Buckett manned a ‘have your say’ gazebo and information stand armed with rural-related crime prevention tips and advice.

If you didn’t manage to meet the team at the Show, take at look below at our farm safety 12 point check list to get an idea of some the information your neighbourhood team and crime prevention officers can help with.
·         Nameplate: is your house/farm sign displayed at the entrance?

·         Fire hydrant: Where is the nearest fire hydrant?

·         Water supplies: Location of available additional water supplies for example
tanks, ponds, rivers?

·         Evacuation plan: Is a written animal evacuation plan available at all times?

·         Dangerous animals: Are stables/ stalls/ fields identifiable if you are not

·         Flammable risks: What materials do you have on site and are they suitably
stored away from fire risks?

·         Chemicals: What chemicals are stored, how many and where? Are they
marked with the relevant safety instructions?

·         Fuel/ diesel: Are supplies/ tanks/ pipes clearly marked?

·         Staff: Are your staff aware of emergency procedures and contact numbers?

·         Housekeeping: Are your electrics, workshops and yards maintained and
kept tidy?

·         Public: Are you hosting the general public on your property? How many are
likely to be present?

·         Agricultural buildings: How many buildings do you have on the site? What
size are they and what is their current use, i.e. animal, crops, hay, chemicals,
For more information or advice about any of the above subjects, contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team by finding their email via the Thames Valley Police website.

Friday, 9 August 2013

DAY 10: Having your say about rural crime

Throughout the last five days, Chiltern and South Bucks have run six ‘Have Your Say’ meetings at key rural locations within the area.

Yesterday (8/8), a very successful ‘Have Your Say’ was run at Dorney Court Garden Centre in Dorney. Over 70 people met with PCSOs and had the chance to talk about what rural crime issues concerned them most. 30 attendees agreed to sign up to the Thames Valley Alert messaging service and the majority left with packs of crime prevention advice and ideas about how to secure their property and land.
You can find specific advice about how to protect your farm and land on the Country Watch pages on the Thames Valley Police website or contact your Neighbourhood Team at any time if you would like to speak to someone in person about protecting your property.

Giving crime prevention advice and a Country Watch gate sign

DAY 9 – ANPR in hotspot areas across Chiltern and South Bucks

The team in Chiltern and South Bucks have been conducting Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) road side checks in intelligence lead, ‘hotspot’ areas.
The aim of using ANPR is to both disrupt any criminal behaviour in progress and prevent crime by being visible to the surrounding community. Any vehicles picked up by the ANPR cameras are stopped and checks are carried out on both the car and driver and passengers.
Although officers may be specifically on the look-out for rural crime activity and intelligence, quite often other offences are discovered as a result of the operation, as Insp Emma Burroughs explains: “Chiltern and South Bucks LPA have conducted 12 ANPR operations at various rural locations within the Local Policing Area (LPA).
“The intention is to carry out high visibility patrols to detect and deter criminals who are committing crime on our area.
“The rural crime figures are low for this LPA so the ANPR operations focus on all crimes affecting the LPA.  In excess of 2000 vehicles have passed through these sites, 110 of those vehicles have been stopped.
“The results have been for traffic process i.e. no insurance and the vehicles seized, or no keeper details and a number of interactions have taken place with motorists to promote the LPA’s work around rural crime.”
ANPR camera set up

DAY 8: Arrest made in connection with a burglary in Chalfont St Peter

A 33 year-old man has been arrested at an address in Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe in connection with a burglary which happened on Wednesday (7/8) in Bull Lane, Chalfont St Peter.
The man, who is from Denham in Uxbridge, was arrested yesterday (8/8) and has been bailed until the 9 September.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

DAY 7: Tack marking at Snowball Farm and feisty Friesians on the A40

PCSO Vicky Kiffin had a busy day yesterday (7/8) marking up horse tack at Snowball Farm in Burnham. 40 pieces of tack were marked using Datatag’s equestrian security kits.

TVP have secured discounts on Datatag tack marking kits for Thames Valley horse owners. See the below flier for more info. If you would like to speak to your Neighbourhood Policing Team about securing your stables and tack, you can find out who they are and contact them via the TVP website.

Tack marking at Snowball Farm

In udder news...

PCSO Anish Sharma came across a group of unruly road users on the A40 in Gerrards Cross: The team tweeted: “We are responding to a report of a cow on the road on the A40 in Gerrards Cross - Please drive with care whilst we try and mooooo-ve it on!!”
It was later established a group of not one, but seven cows were loose on the road, milking the officer’s time and energy trying to remove these boisterous bovines back to where they came from.
Thankfully, the group caused no beef with other traffic and they were returned safely and unharmed.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Meanwhile in West Berkshire...

While the 100 days of action excitement continues in Chiltern and South Bucks, officers in West Berkshire have arrested and charged a man with criminal damage to property valued under £5000, possession of an air rifle when prohibited and receiving stolen goods.
The arrest came during a warrant which was executed yesterday (5/8) at 9.35am in Manor Lane in Oare, Hermitage, under section 26 of the Theft Act. During the warrant, several items were recovered including a carpet cleaner, a metal deer statue and power tools which are all believed to be stolen. 10 air rifles and four vehicles have also been seized.
The man in question, 38-year-old Stephen Banham of Manor Lane, Oare, Hermitage appeared at Reading Magistrates Court this morning (6/8) and has been remanded until the 19 August.
Supt Robin Rickard, LPA Commander for West Berkshire, had this to say about yesterday’s operation: “Significant police resources were deployed yesterday to conduct this warrant and I know that this would have caused some disruption and concern to the local community.
“I would like to reassure people living and working in the community that this is part of our effort to tackle rural crime and carrying out activity, such as executing search warrants, is an important tactic in reducing rural crime”

DAY 6 Chiltern and South Bucks find stolen Ifor Williams trailer

Chiltern and South Bucks began the first of their summer five days yesterday (5/8) patrolling alongside Datatag representative, Nick Mayall.
While patrolling the village of Ashley Green just north of Chesham, Nick spotted what he thought looked like a stolen trailer. 
The recovered Ifor Williams trailer

“The first thing I noticed, from about 20 yards away, was that the laser etched security code,which are always on the chassis on Ifor Williams trailers, had been welded over.”

The laser etched security code, standard for Ifor Williams trailers had been welded

On closer inspection, it was discovered that the serial number on top if the A frame had been ground off and the chassis plate had obviously been tampered with, quite clear and obvious signs of a stolen trailer.
A tampered chassis plate

The serial number had been ground off
 Although no arrests have been made in connection with the stolen trailer yet, the trailer has been recovered and will be taken to the TVP vehicle examiner to restore the original security code and of course, find the real owner!
Sgt Melvin Mutch, from the Amersham Neighbourhood Policing Team (and recent 2 time gold medallist at the World Police and Fire Games 2013, round of applause please!!) said: “This is great example of how Datatag can work in partnership with us to combat thefts of farming and agricultural property.
“Their knowledge about farming equipment is extensive and they have passed on specialist advice to our officers about what to look out for on tampered or potentially stolen farming machinery.

"This advice is incredibly valuable to the team while we continue to tackle rural crime.”