South Molton local policing team priorities

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Rural Crime initiatives

Priority reason: 19 Apr 2018

To address and reduce criminality within the rural community by linking in with our partners on a regular and effective basis. Increase the use of and membership to the Devon Alert scheme.  

Our response:

UPDATE 12/09/2019 The Chief Constable Visit. Quad Bike and Farm Thefts.

This summer has been challenging for the team at South Molton as Staff members have moved on and we await new supplies!

We are looking forward to new members joining the Response team who are based at South Molton but are available for deployment across North Devon.

PC Steve Theobald has taken over from Pc Graham James as the Neighbourhood Officer for South Molton and South Molton Rural. Steve has been a Response Officer at South Molton and knows the area well. 

To provide a more rural focused service to Exmoor,Pc Mark Langworthy who works from Lynton and has responsibilty for most of the Devon Side of the Moor,will take on some of the South Molton area that is a rural moorland community, this will mean Twitchen, Molland and the Ansteys. 

We were pleased to have the Chief Constable Visit our area, and we wanted him to see the extent and unique type of issues that Exmoor and Rural South Molton have.  He met with a two farmers and their families and a Ranger from the National park.  He was told about farm thefts, poaching and Raves and how policing such a huge area relied on public support.

There has been periods when we have been targetted by travelling criminals who steal quad bikes and tools from farms and busniesses.  They have been bold this year and are walking onto farms during the day and driving off with equipment.  We are working with our own Rural Affairs team and other forces who neighbour us to share information and tactics. There have been a number of succesful arrests across Devon and Somerset following reports from the public and we have seized some vans involved in crime.

As a force we want to focus more on prevention and making it difficult for rural criminals to operate. This means basic security, property marking and trackers, sharing information and vigilance.  We want to send the message that our area is a difficult one for theives and we are not a soft traget.

We have started our nightime rural crime operations again for the autumn and as a consequence stopped a Rave before it got going.   These ops are aimed at stopping poaching and rural thefts. 

UPDATE 12/09/2019 Rural Crime Operation Exmoor December 2018

A two night Operation was conducted on Exmoor that inteligence and information suggested crime activity would occur.   This was a joint operation with other agencies and was succesful in disrupting actrivity and an investigation is now ongoing.   

Update Apr 2019

We have continued with these operations and are now investigationg further offences relating to Wildlife Crime

UPDATE 12/09/2019 Moving Forward

South Molton and Lynton Neighbourhood Officers met this week with partners from the Local Authority, Avon and Somerset Police, Trading Standards and Rangers from the National Park and National Trust.

We have been getting together for some time now to share our resources to tackle issues in the National Park, and have some good results with anti social  driving and riding on Exmoor and some significant breakthroughs in the fight against Deer Poaching.   

Deer Poaching is a complex issue to understand for those outside of the community. In brief, the indiscriminate culling of large numbers of deer while trespassing with firearms, in often reckless circumstances, has a big impact on those that live and work on Exmoor.  For farmers and workers, being able to feel safe when out working on thier land is a right, and we would not accept this behaviour in our built up areas. Other aspects around cruelty and welfare to the deer are really concerning, which is why we have been conducting monthly operations to suppress and disrupt this activity.


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