Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 21 January 2023
HINCKLEY and Bosworth’s Tory Member of Parliament, Dr. Luke Evans, joined Leicestershire Police’s Rural Policing Team to experience their working day across they police across the borough.
The Rural Policing Team was created by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police back in 2021, and it was further expanded last year in 2022, as a part of the Rural Crime Strategy, and work which is being done to boost the policing presence in the county.
The local MP joined Police Inspector Neil Whittle and Police Constable Mike Statt, Rural Officer for Hinckley and Blaby, to farms in the Bosworth constituency.
Whilst working together, they discussed local issues currently being tackled, such as anti-social behaviour, equipment theft, crime prevention funding, and upcoming legislation with local farmers.
Since the dedicated rural policing team has been created, efforts have been made to ensure that reporting crimes are are easier and quicker for local farmers and producers.
Rural and farming communities are being encouraged to report machinery thefts, anti-social behaviour, hare coursing and other crimes, through the ‘Report a rural crime’ portal on the force’s official website.
Since December 2019, more than 250 additional police officers have joined the force across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as part of the Government’s promise to increase the number of police officers by 20,000 across England and Wales.
In November, on national Back British Farming day, the local MP wrote to the Chief Executives of supermarkets with stores in his constituency to ask what they’re doing to support local farmers. And since then, Dr. Evans has welcomed news from Lidl and Tesco that they source from producers in Bosworth.
Dr. Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Bosworth, said: “I want to thank Insp. Whittle and his team for all the work they have done disrupting hare coursing, farm equipment theft and intimidation when trespassing.
“It was great to hear from PC Statt about the work he does to engage with our rural communities to prevent and disrupt crime particularly targeted at farmers and our farming community.
“Our area is 85% agricultural so the rural police team – specialists on wildlife and rural crime – is very welcome. The team receive assistance when necessary from other officers in the area, which is important given we have a mammoth patch to cover, but it was fantastic to see the progress made in such a short time.
“Taking time with officers to meet with local farmers as an MP has been hugely valuable: listening to their concerns and discussing what I and the Government can do to support them.”