The Rural Task Force was set up in February 2021, initially as a dedicated unit of four officers and one sergeant, focusing on tackling rural, wildlife and heritage crimes within the East Riding of Yorkshire.

New sergeant Kevin Jones took over leadership of the unit late last year says:


“When I took over as acting sergeant, the Rural Task Force could not have been left in a better place.  Sergeant Jenna Jones led it to be an award-winning team, with such strong networks with operational partners, with officers from neighbouring forces and with Farm Watch groups. 

 The 3 main objectives will remain:

·       Rural Acquisitive Crime – burglary and theft

·       Rural Criminal Damage – damage to property and land

·       Hare coursing – the barbaric ‘sport’ of setting dogs on wild hares

“We have issues in relation to acquisitive crime, such as theft from farmyards, thefts of high value agricultural assets, all-terrain vehicles and trailers. These are items farmers use for their jobs but are also vehicles that belong to rural communities.


“We also see criminal damage, hare coursing and poaching offences, badger baiting and lamping where offenders trespass on the land or in vehicles.  If those fields are cropped, then those crops are likely to be damaged by vehicles being driven across them.


“This can sometimes cause thousands of pounds worth of damage. And rural criminal damage is therefore a real issue in our area and can be a pre-curser to other crimes.


“I plan to use a combination of proactive and reactive measures to tackle these issues.  The proactive measures will see us carry out operations with partners, using our links with North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Police.

 “In relation to wildlife crime, if you see people on farmland who are hare coursing, remember that that there is likely to be a wild hare being barbarically chased. It is someone’s field, they are crops that feed us all.  There is a farmer who owns that land, and criminals are not welcome, they are committing offences.  We want people to call us and report it.

“If you don’t report an issue, we don’t necessarily know about it.  We could drive around the countryside all day long and only see one such offence.  Our rural communities are our eyes and ears, and we need people to pick up the phone and report their suspicions to us.


“If you see a crime in progress, always call 999.  Get as much information as is safe to obtain.  Make a note of the ‘What Three Words’ location, or a location description to help us find them, make a note of any vehicle registration numbers, the number and description of people and the type of dogs.  But the main thing is always to remain safe.  Never approach them yourselves. Take pictures, but only if it’s safe to do so.

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