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Representatives from partner organisations and the rural community have joined Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team to launch a new partnership designed to combat rural crime.

Partners include farmers, gamekeepers, countryside rangers, National Farmers Union, National Trust, Environment Agency, Angling Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Historic England, Country Landowners Association, RSPB, RSPCA, Natural England, local authorities and representatives from town and parish councils in Dorset.

The new partnership was launched in September at a meeting between partners to discuss how they would work together to reduce rural crime in Dorset, which the NFU estimates cost Dorset over £600,000 last year.

The meeting was opened by Councillor Andrew Kerby, North Dorset District Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing who spoke about the impact of rural crime on victims’ livelihoods and how local authorities could support them.

Superintendent Ian Roe, Dorset Police’s Gold Commander for rural crime explained the journey Dorset Police had been on in tackling rural crime, focusing on the launch of the Rural Crime Team and how it is already making a huge impact in encouraging victims to report crime and educating residents on how to stay safe.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator, said: ‘It is vital we work with partners and members of the public to share information, ideas, best practice, concerns and suggestions to tackle rural crime in our community.

‘Poaching, fly-tipping and criminal damage can have a huge impact on rural communities. We’d like to thank members of the public who regularly share information with us and encourage anyone with information about crime to share it with us.

Reports of suspicious vehicles and their registration numbers have allowed us to map suspect routes, their likely targets and build a much better picture of those involved in rural criminality.’

PCSO Tom Balchin, Rural Engagement Officer, said: ‘It is crucial that rural residents postcode mark their items in a permanent way, use trackers and, where possible, use infrared alarms so they are alerted at the time intruders are on the premises.’

To share information about anyone suspected of being involved in rural crime, email the Rural Crime Team in confidence: RuralCrimeTeam@Dorset.pnn.police.uk

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