A unique new smartphone app has been launched to help support officers and staff engaging with and responding to rural crime incidents, funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
Warwickshire Police is believed to be the first force in the country to develop a Rural Crime Advice app.
The app provides easy access to advice and guidance on a wide range of information relating to livestock, wildlife crime, fishing, agricultural vehicles and plant, firearms, dangerous dogs, poisons and heritage crime.
As well as contact details for key organisations, partners and internal force departments, it also has a report function for sending information directly to the Rural Crime Team.
Inspector Allison Wiggin said: “We serve a largely rural community in Warwickshire and when an incident occurs officers and staff can be deployed to remote locations. The secure app helps and supports them in a number of ways to improve their response to incidents and enquiries on rural and wildlife crime.
“For example the app provides precise location mapping, latest rural updates and briefings for officers and rural news to update officers as soon as they come on duty.”
A direct link to Warwickshire Rural Watch also provides the opportunity for officers to help people to sign up for Rural Alerts and be provided with relevant crime prevention advice.
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said “The app is a great tool for assisting officers and staff in policing rural areas and supporting them when dealing with rural and wildlife crime.
“By equipping our officers and staff with quick and easy access to all the information they may need when dealing with a rural crime incident, officers can check the details of a suspected stolen agricultural vehicle, firearms legislation or offences relating to wildlife for example, faster leading to greater protection for our rural communities. It is hoped this will also act as a deterrent to would be thieves in our rural communities.”
The app was produced by Rural Crime Officer Carol Cotterill and builds upon the successful launch of a rural crime patrol book last year, which equipped the force’s patrol vehicles with a reference guide to help officers when responding to incidents in rural parts of the county.
Carol said: “We are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner and to partners that have assisted us including Datatag, Trading Standards, Historic England, and the Safer Roads Partnership as well as various departments within Warwickshire Police such as firearms, and the dogs section.”
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