Police continue crackdown on rural crime

Officers stop and search 143 motorists in two-day cross border operations involving Axminster and Honiton

Police have conducted more operations to combat rural crime in border areas like Axminster and Honiton.

During the latest two-day crackdown officers from Devon and Cornwall joined forces with colleagues from Avon and Somerset to stop and search some 143 vehicles.

This initiative was set up by officers from a newly-formed proactive team, Operation Newmarket.

The team is responsible for preventing and detecting rural crime, intelligence-gathering, cross border liaison with the surrounding South West forces and public reassurance.

The team worked alongside local policing teams, neighbourhood police officers, Police Community Support Officers and officers from the Road Crime Unit.

PC Roy Hutter, of Honiton CID, explained: “Rural crime continues to be a priority within Devon and the team are working hard to prevent offences taking place and where they have taken place catch and convict those responsible.

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“The Operation Newmarket team encourages people in the rural communities to take responsibility for their property and do all they can to ensure that all of their property is marked and securely locked away, with all serial numbers recorded separately.

“This simple action will provide a more realistic prospect of officers being able to detect crime and bring those offenders to justice.”

Police say they want to hear from anybody who believes that they have witnessed a suspicious incident or have seen suspicious vehicles in their area.

PC Hutter added: “It is becoming more apparent that properties in rural locations are being targeted by people who are asking to buy scrap metal or old batteries. If people have received a visit like this, they should obtain as much detail as possible about the person and vehicle, including registration number and call the police on 101. The Operation Newmarket team are here to help, so please use them.”

Anyone wishing to contact an officer from the Operation Newmarket team can call on 01392 226063 or email operationnewmarket@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk