A Rural Crime Team has received a boost after taking delivery of a new trailer designed to help them engage with farming communities.
Northamptonshire Police's purpose-built trailer is equipped with three internal video screens, a tablet device, and is fully accessible via ramps.
On the outside, it features rural scenes and a tailgate designed to look like a livestock trailer, complete with stickers bearing rural crime prevention advice.
The idea was the brainchild of PC Hutch Hutchings, after he set out to boost force engagement with people at large-scale rural events like cattle markets and county fairs.
“It’s important for us to be visible and accessible to our farming and rural communities and our hope is that this trailer will really help us meet both those aims," he said.
“Back in 2019 Operation Stock, our investigation into illegal sheep butchery, proved just how valuable engagement with our rural communities is, and we were determined to keep that momentum up.
“It shouldn’t be the case that we only talk to the public when there’s a big investigation underway, we need to be out in the places our rural communities go so we can listen to their concerns.”
The twin-axle Kompak trailer was officially launched at Kelmarsh Hall with a handover from Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold to members of the Rural Crime Team and Chief Constable Nick Adderley.
Mr Adderley said: “I’m very clear that as a force, we must be accessible to the communities we serve, which very much includes our rural residents.
"I want our force to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to fighting rural crime, so we continue to provide an effective and professional policing service to everyone in our county.”
It comes after the Welsh government announced that it will introduce an all-Wales Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator to tackle countryside crime in the country.
The cost of rural crime in the United Kingdom reached an eight year high in 2019, the latest figures by NFU Mutual show.