Police officers from Warwickshire and across the wider West Midlands region have benefited from a special rural crime training day, funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe.
The day included subjects such as heritage crime, wildlife crime, livestock and agricultural vehicles. As well as experts in their respective fields from a number of organisations training the officers, there was also input from a local farmer, the National Farmers Union and a gamekeeper. Hands-on training with livestock and a range of vehicles was also provided throughout the day.
As well as local officers and Police Community Support Officers, a representative from each of the force’s regional partners in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia was invited to attend, to help boost knowledge and co-operation on cross-border rural crime.
Warwickshire Police’s Rural Crime Officer Carol Cotterill, who organised the training day and is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We have been really pleased with how the training day has gone. It is important that our officers are trained and updated on rural crime and have the information to deal with incidents as they come in with the best possible advice.
“Being able to put theory into practice is really important and provides the opportunity to role play a situation with experts on hand to answer any questions. The feedback from officers has been excellent with so many stating the difference it has made in their roles in the force.”
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, who funded and attended the training day, said: “Police officers come from a wide range of backgrounds and, in an area like Warwickshire, can be called to deal with incidents taking place in rural parts of the county as well as in our major towns and urban areas. It’s really important that they all have a good understanding of the types of crime affecting our rural communities and are given practical information which can help them identify offenders and preserve evidence when a crime takes place.
“We’ve run a number of these training days and the feedback I get is that it is valued both by officers and the partner organisations such as the NFU who help to make it possible. I’m pleased to see more officers undergoing the training, including from our neighbouring forces.
“It’s part of my commitment to ensure that the public receives a high quality service from the police wherever they live or work in Warwickshire. I hope it also helps reinforce the message to criminals that our county should not be seen as easy pickings, especially in our rural areas.”