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Rural times

protecting our rural communities hampshire and the Isle of wight

summer 2015

CONTENTs l Editor

4 j

Julie Jones Corporate Communications

the national rural crime network

Hampshire Constabulary



Louise Hubble Strategic Rural Policing



Forthcoming events and shows



country watch priorities

hugh’s views

Inspector Hampshire Constabulary




op falcon introduction by sgt simon flint

Simon Flint Op Falcon Sergeant Hampshire Constabulary

Deborah Holman Country Watch Sergeant Hampshire Constabulary

i get involved

n WEBSITE Hampshire Alert



l Protect your land

birds of a feather

meet the team others to make Hampshire and the Isle

across Hampshire and the Isle of

of Wight a hostile place for criminals.

Wight and that it is a no-go area for

We know that for our communities

Intro to Rural Crime by ACC Sara Glen



living in these rural areas it is harder

Listening to what’s important to

to prevent and detect crime - there

those who live, work in and visit our

are often fewer witnesses to criminal

rural areas is vital - it’s how we can

activity and greater opportunities for

understand the issues they are facing

criminals to target isolated properties

and most importantly helps us to

and businesses.

tackle, disrupt and ultimately prevent criminal activity across the

olicing the rural geography

We also know that those who choose

of Hampshire and the Isle

to commit crime in rural areas pay

of Wight presents a unique

no attention to county borders, and

If you’re interested in finding out

challenge. Over the last

two counties.

our approach to policing is the same.

about police activity in the rural area,

three years, however, we have made

We will work with communities, other

please sign up to our free community

significant improvements in our

forces and partners county wide and

alert messaging system at

approach to rural policing and, in

country wide to ensure that these

particular, working in partnership with

people know they are not welcome

Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight


ecognising that more than 85% of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is rural, I made a commitment in my

Police and Crime Plan to address the inequality in the number of rural crimes that are solved compared to those in urban areas, meaning that victims of crime in rural areas often felt let down by the police. As part of my responsibility to hold the chief constable to account, I tasked him to ensure that appropriate focus was applied from within the constabulary

to help bring about consistent policing

Operation Falcon also encourages

services across the two counties. As a

members of the public to report

result, the chief constable established

anything or anyone they consider

an intelligence-led team to focus on

to be suspicious to the police.

rural issues. These were included

This has helped to ensure that the

in the Rural Policing Strategy jointly

constabulary delivers a policing

issued by the Office of the Police and

service in rural communities that

Crime Commission and Hampshire

is equal to that received in urban

Constabulary and which specifically

environments. As a result, policing

focuses on crime related to: farms and

in rural communities has improved

agriculture; local rural communities;

considerably, with more than 87% of

heritage; wildlife and environment;

rural-based victims of crime saying

and tourism.

they were “satisfied” with that service.

I was delighted to formally launch the Rural Policing Strategy at the New Forest Show in July 2014, alongside the ‘Hampshire Alert’, which helps keep local communities better

Over the last year, I have attended and addressed a number of local meetings, conferences and shows to help raise awareness and to provide reassurance.

informed about local policing and

Most recently, I have joined the

crime. Since then, the constabulary

National Rural Crime Network, which

has launched Operation Falcon,

is entirely complementary to the work

which delivers intelligence-led and

being undertaken by the constabulary

focused policing operations targeted

to maintain neighbourhood police

at specific types of rural crime. Aimed

teams in rural areas. Much of the work

at disrupting criminals who operate in

being undertaken by these teams can

rural communities and to help those

be considered “best in class” and I am

who live in, or visit rural locations, to

very pleased that we can now share

feel safer and less at risk of becoming

our experiences with other forces and

a victim of crime.

partner agencies at a national level.


hugh’s views

R Hugh Oliver-Bellasis is

ural policing will always

realist but with solutions.” The force

be a challenge, because

has a new structure which is currently

Hampshire has a huge

bedding in and will take a moment to

amount of space with no

realise its full operational potential.

inhabitants; there is a large network

There is a greater understanding of

of Rights of Way (RsoW) and there

the challenge and an undoubted will

are ever fewer people working on the

to beat rural crime.

chair of the Strategic

land. Home Office statistics are biased

Independent Advisory

in favour of urban policing and many

Group (SIAG) and acts

police officers now work in unfamiliar

as a critical friend to the force.

areas and sometimes find it difficult to build up trust with rural communities.

you play your part.

Rachel Farrell, which highlighted the

on your land or down the lane?

issues and areas needing attention

House to house visitors asking

and mapped out a new approach.

strange questions; asphalt offered or

Due to the skill and dedication of

suddenly surplus garden furniture?

relatively few officers given the task of

Would you consider challenging a

sorting it out, rural policing has been

stranger in places off the beaten

transformed at a time when the force

track, even if it is just to check if

as a whole has far fewer resources

they are lost? Our police force needs your help. They are fewer in number and cover the same ground. The task is ever more of a challenge because

They often have more appropriate

the villains are always trying to be

vehicles than the police and certainly

a pace ahead of the law. Sign up

use much of the same technology

to Hampshire Country Watch, be

illegally! In addition they play to the

inquisitive and remember – too

rural communities’ weaknesses with

much reporting is better than none

considerable skill: they exploit the

at all; one day your little piece

space, Rights of Way, old 4x4s which

of information will complete the

are trashable and are often more

picture and “bingo”. Everyone has

comfortable with the countryside

a responsibility to keep our rural

than others that live there.

communities safe. Please ensure

Maybe, I hear you say “you are a pessimist”? I would reply “I am a


entails looking and interpreting why is there an unfamiliar vehicle

well equipped.

safe; please ensure

for the rural public to help – that what you are seeing – for example,

potential villains are very mobile and

our rural communities

force has done well. There is a need

review by chief superintendent

at a premium and hard to acquire. The

responsibility to keep

poorly assessed budget cuts, the

This story begins with the rural

but challenges remain. Intelligence is

Everyone has a

Against the backdrop of savage and

you play your part.

the National Rural Crime Network


imon Hayes, Police and

improved considerably, with more

and I will use it to help inform

Crime Commissioner for

than 87% of rural-based victims of

the work being carried out by

Hampshire and the Isle

crime saying they were “satisfied

Hampshire Constabulary to help

of Wight, has joined the

with the service” they now receive

keep rural communities even

National Rural Crime Network.

from the police.”


The network works collaboratively

“I see joining the National Rural

Assistant Police and Crime

to achieve greater recognition and

Crime Network as being entirely

Commissioner, Judy Venables,

understanding of the problems

complementary to the work

attended the Highclere Country

and impact of crime in rural areas,

being undertaken by Hampshire

Show during the Bank Holiday

so that more can be done to help

Constabulary to maintain

weekend, where she talked to

keep people safer.

neighbourhood police teams in

visitors about rural issues in

rural areas. Much of the work being

general and what most concerned

In taking this decision Mr Hayes

undertaken by these teams can be

them. The majority of responses

said: “When I took office in

considered ‘best in class’ and I am

showed that Hampshire is

November 2012, I recognised

very pleased that we can now share

regarded as a safe place to live,

that there was inequality in the

our experiences with other forces and

work or visit. The main issues

way rural crimes were perceived

partner agencies at a national level.“

highlighted centred around theft

against those committed in the

of machinery from rural premises

towns and cities. I said that I

“I have joined the network at the

would provide an improved

time it is launching its National

policing service that was

Rural Crime Survey, and I would

consistently delivered across

urge all those living in rural areas

both urban and rural areas.

of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to take part in the survey which

“To achieve this objective I

can be found on their website:

launched my Rural Policing


Strategy in July 2014 and since

net. The results of the survey

then, I am delighted to say that the

will help show the true impact of

service to rural communities has

policing and crime in rural areas,

and keeping equipment safe.

87% 2014

victims rural satisfied policing by police strategy service launched


Country Watch priorities


ountry Watch is Hampshire Constabulary’s Wildlife and Rural Crime team. Its members are trained specialist officers who work alongside the Neighbourhood Policing Teams

and other partner agencies in dealing with rural issues. The team is led by Inspector Lou Hubble and Sergeant Debby Holman. The team comprises six police officers and four PCSOs located around Hampshire. The IOW Country Watch team is led by Sergeant Mark Lyth, who is supported by two police officers and two PCSOs.

i Our team priorities fall in line with those set by the National Wildlife Crime Unit for the UK.


The role of the Country Watch PC mainly involves

Fish poaching can also have a financial impact on

enforcement, education, the disruption of offending

legitimate fisherman or fish farmers. There is often

behaviour, and the investigation of rural crimes,

confusion in relation to whether a body of water can

where their specialist skills and knowledge are

be fished or not. It is best practice to ensure you


have permission to fish in any stretch of water that

The role of the Country Watch PCSO is to engage

you intend to visit.

with rural communities, providing a visible presence,

Country Watch also deals with investigations involving

reassurance and specialist crime prevention advice

farm animals, dogs worrying livestock (the majority of

for landowners, farmers and residents..

the team are trained Dog Liaison Officers), heritage

For both PCs and PCSOs a key element of their dayto-day business is finding solutions to ongoing issues affecting rural communities. All the officers on the

crime, theft of agricultural plant, tools and machinery, equine crime and any incidents involving hunting or shooting.

team have attended a national accredited Wildlife

In a nutshell, anything which has a rural flavour will

Crime Investigators course, providing expert training

see County Watch either taking on the investigation

in crimes against animals, plants and protected land

or reviewing the information available and offering

and habitats. Our team priorities fall in line with

expert assistance and support to our colleagues both

those set by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU)

within the police and in our partner agencies.

for the UK. The current UK priorities are bat crime, badger crime, bird of prey persecution, poaching and the illegal trade in endangered species. Of the UK priorities, poaching is the highest in Hampshire and the IOW. Deer, hare and game poaching is still a major issue for our landowners,

Call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 In an emergency always call 999 Deaf? Non-emergency text 07781 480999

farmers and rural communities. We recognise the damage caused to fences and crops by poachers which can have a significant financial impact. Hare coursing is often linked to threats, intimidation or violence.


Birds of a feather


The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after. King George VI very spring and summer, Hampshire Constabulary

While some pest species of birds, such as magpie,

receives numerous reports of potential

jay, jackdaw and pigeon can be controlled under the

disturbance to nesting birds. These range from

conditions of the general licence, this relates only to the

home owners undertaking gardening work

birds and not their eggs. There are very few exceptions

contractors or local authority workers undertaking tree

to this and you should check the most up-to-date general

surgery work to builders working too close to a nesting

licence for specific information on included species.

site while building an extension or converting a barn. Guidance from Natural England states that the bird nesting season is from the March 1 to July 31. There will obviously be annual variations on this depending in the weather and average temperature. Consequently nesting may start prior to and extend beyond these dates.

To minimise the risk of committing an offence, it is recommended that any work to hedgerows, trees and garden shrubbery is done outside of the nesting season. If it must be undertaken during the nesting season a survey of the area must be conducted prior to work commencing to ensure there are no nests in the area.

All wild birds are protected by law while actively nesting.

Remember that some birds, such as curlew, redshank,

As well as the birds themselves their chicks and eggs

snipe, lapwing, nightjar and dartford warbler, nest on

are protected. It is an offence to kill, injure or take any

the ground, so when you are out walking ensure that

wild bird, and to intentionally damage or destroy the

you stick to footpaths and keep dogs and children under

nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being

control. There are more than 570 species of bird in the

built. It is also an offence to take or destroy any wild bird

UK. With a little bit of thought around the type of work

eggs. All of the above are offences under the Wildlife

we undertake and when we schedule it, we can all do our

& Countryside Act 1981 and could result in a criminal

bit to support our native birds and ensure they have the

investigation by the police.

best chance of breeding.


caught and convicted

This is a really encouraging outcome arising from a detailed investigation which has resulted in these four men pleading guilty at court.


our men have pleaded guilty to poaching

practice by Hampshire Constabulary, the

offences following an incident at a farm

dog involved in the offence was also seized

in Warnford in November 2014.

by police. The incident was investigated by

On Thursday, April 16, at Aldershot

the force’s Country Watch unit. Investigating

Magistrates Court, Matthew Giles, 32, of

officer PC Jon Radcliffe said: “A close working

Common Road, Lingfield, Surrey; James Smith,

relationship between Hampshire Constabulary,

22, of Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey; Edward

surrounding forces and members of the rural

Watson, 39, of The Haven, Billingshurst, West

community resulted in a successful outcome

Sussex; and a 16-year-old boy from Surrey

for this investigation. Country Watch continues

all pleaded guilty to offences under the night

to work hard to make rural Hampshire a hostile

poaching act. Watson also pleaded guilty to

environment for criminals.”

causing criminal damage to crops growing in the fields. During the incident, vehicles were seen driving across fields and a dog was seen to be chasing wild mammals.

Sergeant Debby Holman added: “This is a really encouraging outcome arising from a detailed investigation which has resulted in these four men pleading guilty at court. We recognise

All four were ordered to pay compensation

the impact that poaching can have on rural

to the owner of the crops and to the police

communities and we hope this result will go

for costs incurred in the kennelling of the dog

some way to spreading the message that it

during the investigation. This totalled over

will not be tolerated in Hampshire. Our thanks

£900 each. In addition, Watson was disqualified

go to the officers concerned and the rural

from driving for two years. As is now common

communities who assisted in this investigation.”

hot off the press


ollowing a joint operation between

It is with your support that we are able to

Hampshire Constabulary and Thames

prosecute people such as the man involved in

Valley Police, Elwyn Ingram, 45, was

this occurrence.

charged with causing unnecessary

suffering to a roe deer. Evidence recovered by police showed Ingram, a father of five from The Willows Caravan Park, Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester, sitting astride the deer suffocating it with his hands. The deer was clearly in a great deal of distress and was struggling to get free. Ingram pleaded guilty at court and was sentenced to a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He has also been given a curfew between 7pm and 7am on an electronic tag for 12 weeks, 180 hours unpaid work and £165 fine/costs.  Thank you to all those in our rural communities who continue to provide information to us in relation to criminal activity. 


n Friday, July 10, Edward Watson appealed against his sentence for being disqualified from driving. This appeal was dismissed by

the judge, sitting with two lay justices. They stated the sentence was proportionate and he remains disqualified from driving until April 2017. Inspector Lou Hubble said: “This is a very reassuring result as it demonstrates that the Crown Court is being robust in dealing with such matters. It’s probably a bit of a blow to Watson and we hope it may deter his friends and associates from acting in this manner for fear that they may also lose their driving licences.”

To hear these outcomes as they happen, sign up to 9

get involved

Hampshire Alert and Hampshire Country Watch


ould you like to receive crime and community information messages specifically based on where you live, your

demographic profile or even down to what your hobbies and interests are? Being able to update local communities with information that is timely and relevant sounds simple, but the police have not always had the technology or methods to do this in a simple way. In response to particular concerns raised by rural communities about being more informed about what’s going on, the force has invested in a community messaging system that allows us to send real-time targeted crime alerts, witness appeals and information about positive police action in the community tailored specifically to the recipient. Hampshire Alert is a free web-based system which the public can sign up to and allows you to choose what information you want to receive and what format you want to receive it in – email, text or phone message – so the “alert” is personal to you. It’s free to join and receive messages so it’s a really good way to keep people informed.


The force has three alerts sites − for communities


within Hampshire, specifically designed for communities on the Island, and for our rural communities People can sign up via the website, via their neighbourhood teams or via a portable kiosk that can be taken to events. People don’t need to have access to the internet as details can be added manually. The alerts sites are also linked to the Neighbourhood Watch network so anyone in a scheme can also access information about their specific watch and neighbourhood teams can communicate directly with the database of members.

To sign up, simply visit and click on register.

Country Watch Community

Saturday, August, 8

Engagement Events 2015

Ellingham Show, Ringwood

Tuesday, July, 28

Saturday, September, 5

Wednesday, July, 29

Alresford Show

Thursday, July, 30 New Forest Show, Brockenhurst Saturday, August, 1 Burley Show

Receive FREE crime and community information about where you live Register at

Saturday, September, 12 Romsey Show Sunday, September, 13 Hampshire Country Sports Day 11

Protect your land l Advice on choosing the right business or service


olice officers are often asked if they know of a

alarms, fire systems and CCTV among many others. On

reputable business, tradesperson or security

this website you can search for approved contractors

product that they can recommend. Officers

who have gone through a rigorous vetting process to

cannot promote or endorse specifically, but

be endorsed by the board.

what we can do is direct you to a variety of approved organisations–where you will find vetted and approved

If you wish to research your own companies in this

companies and products. Below is a guide for

area – make sure they are part of one of the two above

homeowners and business owners.

organisations, or the Buy With Confidence scheme (detailed further down).

CCTV and Alarms Visit and for information on the above. The Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board, and the National Security Inspectorate are specialist certification bodies for 12

Locks and security Visit the Master Locksmiths Association www. and Sold Secure www.soldsecure. com for services and products relating to security.

Designing "out" crime

integrity. Also, if any disputes arise Trading Standards can help mediate. This scheme is not run for profit and all funds received are

Visit Secured By Design

ploughed back in to the scheme. Hampshire,

to see information on how crime can be prevented

Southampton and the Isle of Wight councils run

through the right designing and use of appropriate

the BWC, and Portsmouth has a similar scheme

products. SBD was established in 1989 as part of the

called Square Deal www.portsmouthsquaredeal.

Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and is the

corporate title for a group of national police projects.

Security products

Your right to cancel The law has recently changed and as of June 2014 is the premier testing and

the Consumer Contracts Regulations replaced the

certification house for security products. The

Distance Selling Regulations and the Doorstep

products are too numerous to mention, but all

Selling Regulations. As a consumer you have rights

have been tested to a demandingly high standard,

protecting you when it comes to goods and services –

and some items offer a compensation to the owner

please visit these easy to read articles at the following

should they fail to protect, so confident is the

web addresses for more information;

manufacturer (see OnGuard bicycle locks). They also have a bronze, silver, and gold standard dependent

on one’s budget.


Buy With Confidence scheme

Some councils run the above scheme where local tradespersons are vetted by Trading Standards officers, and continue to be monitored to ensure residents receive a quality service to maintain


OP FALCON spotlight


peration Falcon is the overarching umbrella for all proactive operations targeting rural crime and criminality. Through coordinated activities we aim to protect our rural communities

and make them a hostile environment for criminals, reduce rural crime and improve confidence in the police among rural communities. Rural crime and criminality is far more seasonal than in urban areas. By using research and analysis tools we are able to identify key crime types for each month. These operations will be led by a district chief inspector with responsibility being shared across the force area.


Operational activity falls into

Reassurance – Op FALCON will

numerous driving offences have

four key strands:

identify vulnerable locations and

been identified and offenders

people, and will provide reassurance

prosecuted; numerous warrants

Prevention – Op FALCON will

through community engagement.

have been executed; beauty spot

use the neighbourhood teams,

We will utilise Hampshire Alert to

car parks have been patrolled

media and educational tools to help

promote good news stories and

throughout Hampshire; four men

communities understand local and

share our prosecution successes.

have prosecuted for theft from

national issues. We will continue

motor vehicles and all received

to work with existing partner

Operational activity to date has

custodial sentences; four men

organisations to ensure the success

resulted in the arrest of one man

have been charged and prosecuted

of this plan.

for theft of lead from a church; two

for conspiracy to hare course; and

men arrested for possession of

another man has been charged

Intelligence – Op FALCON will

drugs after stop searches in rural

and prosecuted for animal cruelty

promote new partnership working

locations; five vehicles involved in


and encourage rural community

rural crime have been seized;

members to feed information and

Intelligent policing provides

intelligence through to the police. In

resource deployment in the right

return, we will share information we

place at the right time based on

have via internal processes and to

current information and intelligence.

the public via Hampshire Alerts.

This policing style increases public confidence while allowing police

Enforcement – Op FALCON will

resources to proactively target

provide a monthly force-wide rural

identified areas of criminality.

operation. Information received from the public will be used to

We need your help and input to

inform the themes of

target the right places. Operation

these operations.

Falcon will exemplify intelligent policing and will be complementary to our policing mission to make all of our communities an increasingly hostile place for criminals.

We need your help and input to target the right places. 15


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Rural Times Summer 2015  

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

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