From the 2 July, Thames Valley Police will attend every rural crime reported under the new definition.
- Any reports previously dealt with over the phone by the Police Enquiry Centre, such as un-witnessed criminal damage or low value thefts, will now require an appointment with the caller or victim.
- Any reports previously dealt with by an appointment with the caller/victim will be attended under the urgent attendance policy (i.e. Police officers will aim to attend within one hour).
- Incidents which require an urgent or immediate response will continue to be dealt with in this way.
- Local neighbourhood officers will attend these reports in the first instance, unless it immediate attendance is required, then the nearest available resource will be deployed.
Ch Supt Tim De Meyer, Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships said: “This faster response reflects our determination to tackle rural crime and is part of a range of measures we are introducing to prevent, detect and reduce it.
“This definition will ensure that we focus on the crimes that target or affect the rural economy. Crime in these categories has gone down in recent years. But there is still more to be done.
“This faster response, followed up by thorough investigation, will of course increase our chances of finding evidence and catching the criminals responsible.”
Thames Valley Police define rural crime as any case where:
The offence occurred at a:
- Farm barn
- Farm shop
- Farm building
- Farm yard
- Farm house
- Farm field
- Fish farm
Or the property involved is:
- Agricultural machinery
- Agricultural tools
- Hay/ straw
- Heating oil and red diesel
- Horse boxes
And the offence is:
- Criminal damage
- Public health offences (fly tipping)
Hare coursing and poaching offences are including under the definition.
The new definition sets out criteria to allow them to better deal with the crimes targeting or affecting the agricultural rural economy most.
The definition will help to focus their efforts on the crimes of most concern and by being able to identify these crimes early on officers will respond to them faster and deal with them better.