Warwickshire Police’s Rural Crime Team has welcomed a new face the team and been further boosted by a new 4×4 vehicle for its fleet.
PC Matt Simms becomes the eighth constable in the expanded team, joining PC Kate Taylor with responsibility for South East Warwickshire.
In addition, the whole team is benefiting from new wheels to help it get out and about, with a brand new Toyota Hilux 4×4, being delivered to the team this month. It will be used throughout Warwickshire to help officers navigate difficult rural terrain and normally inaccessible areas of the county.
The Hilux complements the existing fleet of two 4×4 vehicles and has already been out in recent days in North Warwickshire assisting with a warrant for a stolen vehicle.
Warwickshire’s Rural Crime Team, which was launched in October 2019, has expanded significantly this year due to increased investment by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, funded through the Council Tax precept.
Officers are based in Stratford, Atherstone and Rugby, allowing for the team to have a presence across the whole of the county. They are complemented by eight Special Constables, including an Inspector and Sergeant, who are all warranted and proactive in their areas.
Day-to-day, the team specialise in key types of rural crime by responding to rural offences, working with rural communities to address local issues, providing crime prevention advice, running regular proactive operations and patrolling in their dedicated beat areas.
It has gone from strength-to-strength in just over 12 months, disrupting criminal activity, making arrests and recovering stolen property. Work with partner agencies, colleagues in bordering forces and other departments within Warwickshire Police has led to the recovery of over 40 items of plant, vehicles, agricultural equipment and tools, worth well over £300,000.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “It’s great to see the Rural Crime Team continue to expand, helping to reinforce the message that we are determined to reduce crime in all corners of the county. The investments I’ve made over the past year have seen the team double in size, providing the greater police presence that rural communities have told me they want to see.
“It’s also important that the team has the right equipment to help them do their job, so this extra set of wheels to get out and about is also great news. It’s great to see the team making good use of the new vehicle already.”
Rural Crime Lead for Warwickshire Police, Inspector Alison Wiggin, said: “I’m pleased to welcome PC Matt Simms to the team, who will help to expand our visibility and capability in the south east of the county, particularly in places like Shipston and surrounding rural villages.
“Likewise, the new Toyota Hilux will be a great addition to our fleet and will allow us to access even more heard-to-reach areas, helping us to continue tackling rural crime within our communities.”
To learn more about the Rural Crime Team and see what they are doing in your local area, visit www.warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk (where you can also sign up for regular alerts), or follow them on social media – @WarwickshireRuralCrimeTeam (Facebook) and @RuralCrimeCops (Twitter).