Police dealing with rural crime issues

Dear Sir, — I thought I would update your readers with some points about what the local rural crime team has been up to in the past couple of months and current trends we have encountered locally.
Livestock attacks still remain a local and a national issue. We have continued to educate walkers and dog owners about the requirement to have dogs on leads, and making yourself aware of the surroundings to which you are in. In conjunction with Cheshire East and Peak District National Park, we will continue to publicise the issue through varying means. We have dealt with incidents where witnesses have come forward to provide evidence against individuals who have been irresponsible. We will continue to push this subject.
A local trend of stone thefts, including coping and York stone, was occurring. We highlighted two teams who were committing thefts. They were arrested, with vehicles seized and stone recovered. They are currently being processed through the courts. Theft of stone is down now as a result. We understand the cost and disruption of such thefts, with the added pressure of livestock escaping as a result of the thefts.
Fly-tipping is a historic issue and unfortunately becoming more prevalent in our rural areas. The cost of removal, animal welfare, contamination and further factors are major issues for our farmers. We have successfully identified households and companies that have been responsible and have worked with Cheshire East to combat this issue. We will continue to deploy several tactics to combat this issue. People have travelled far to offload waste in our rural locations and I request you continue to be vigilant.
Certain locations have been targeted by means of criminal damage by individuals who disagree with management practices that are implemented on land. We understand the contentious use of certain forms of equipment that are used to manage wildlife, but the theft and criminal damage of legal equipment will be investigated. Recent arrests have been made on this subject and enquiries continue on outstanding offenders.
We have worked closely with Natural England and the Peak District National Park to prosecute multiple offenders who ignore guidance where the use of off-road vehicles can be used. This is not only disrupting and worrying livestock, but damaging land and protected SSSI sites. Our unmarked off-road motorcycle unit helps us target those who continue to ignore our requests.
Thefts of vehicles, plant and quads are down, but inquisitive occurrences at farms still occur with locks, chains and outbuildings being tampered with. We hope that this is due to advice on how to protect farm buildings and equipment effectively. We are receiving good intelligence from our community about activity and this is helping us greatly combat this subject, with stolen trailers being recovered in our area. Please keep it coming.
We have several operations planned to tackle criminality moving through our area in the coming months. — Yours faithfully,

PC RIC WALKER
Rural and wildlife officer
Macclesfield Police.

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