Andrew went out with the Rossendale rural taskforce, from their base at Waterfoot Police Station, and was shown different hotspots and areas where offences have taken place and are being targeted on everything from plant and machinery thefts from farms, drug dealing locations, wildlife blood crimes and illegal use of scrambler bikes that is causing serious damage to moorlands.
The team patrolled across the moorlands, country lanes and through into the towns and villages. Andrew spoke with members of the local community about their views on rural policing, how the rural taskforces are making a positive difference and what more he and Lancashire Constabulary can do to support them in keeping areas like this safe.
The successful work of the taskforces across the county has seen the recovery of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of stolen property, vehicle seizures, arrests in relation to animal welfare, poaching and the misuse of drugs, alongside operations targeting OCG’s and flytipping.
By Spring 2022 alone there were 165 arrests, over £2.7m of plant machinery or vehicles recovered, 157 traffic offence reports and engaging with hundreds of farmers.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“Making sure that our rural areas receive the policing support they need an deserve is something I am passionate about. So it’s heartening to hear the positive impact that our dedicated rural teams are having, both from the public and also from the officers themselves who updated me on some of the key operations and success stories they’ve had, tackling rural crime in the east of the county.
“This is all part of my commitment to the people of Lancashire that the whole county should be able to feel safe and know that officers will be there when they need them. Our rural taskforces address the unique policing needs that rural areas have, and that’s why I committed £700k to bolster them with additional officers and equipment.
“My message remains a simple one, I am on your side. I will support the force in cracking down on criminals, making sure all of Lancashire’s areas and communities, from more rural areas to our largest cities, feel safe and work with the Chief Constable on the issues that matter to people, such as anti-social behaviour and getting tough on reoffending.”