Rural Crime Team
Rural Crime Team

A policing team dedicated to tackling rural crime is being introduced in Cumbria.

The Cumbria Police Rural Crime Team is being launched during a National Rural Crime Week which runs from 18 to 24 September.

The Rural Crime Police Team have a dedicated Facebook page here - where the team will highlight issues, incidents, and advice on how our communities can keep themselves safe.

The team will be working under Operation Lantern, Cumbria Constabulary’s dedicated operation to target rural crime within Cumbria.

Although the team will be dedicated to tackling these issues in Cumbria, they will be supported by the wider constabulary day to day. From caller handler to the first officer on the scene rural crime is everyone’s responsibility, and we aspire to deliver an outstanding service to those communities.

 A number of departments including our Neighbourhood Policing teams, Road Policing and other policing departments have received rural crime training and will be supported with any investigation by the specialised team.

Chief Constable Rob Carden said “We know from victims about the devastating impact that rural crime can have on communities across the force area.

“As a predominantly rural force, we are determined create a hostile environment for criminals to safeguard local communities.

“The creation of a Rural Crime Team provides us with greater opportunities to challenge those who may feel that Cumbria is a soft target for rural crime and ensure that offenders are brought to justice."

Our main priorities are:

  • Burglary of rural business and farm premises
  • Theft of farm machinery, agricultural vehicles and plant equipment
  • Fuel Theft
  • Environmental offences including waste and scrap metal offences
  • Wildlife offences
  • Equine and livestock offences

Chief Inspector Lee Skelton rural crime lead said “We have been able to introduce this enhanced policing service to our rural communities due to increased officer numbers in Cumbria through Op Uplift and our continued recruitment of officers.

“The Rural Crime Team will support the wider constabulary in targeting this area of crime and provide specialist rural crime advice to officers, create strong links within the community and look at the issues they are facing and how we can deter criminals.

“This is not a victimless crime, the theft of machinery, fuel and other rural and wildlife offences have a negative impact on our communities financially and emotionally.

“We want to reassure our rural communities that we have listened to them and are taking action, however we need their support, we know rural crime is under reported and encourage our communities to be vigilant and reporting crimes and any suspicious activity.

“We need our communities reporting this information to us to build a picture of the issue and direct our resources to that area and make it a hostile environment for criminals.”

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said: “We welcome that Cumbria Police will now have a dedicated Rural Crime Team. 

“The specialist highly-trained group of officers will support officers across the force responding to rural crimes.

“Our rural communities have requested more dedicated officers to deal with rural crimes and together with the Police we have been able to fund the new Rural Crime Team.    

“Importantly, in addition to the Rural Crime Team there is further dedicated training taking place across the Constabulary to ensure that when you make initial contact to report a crime that you receive the appropriate response. 

“I would encourage anyone who has been affected by a crime to contact the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency – it is really important that if you have a victim of crime that you do report to the Police.  It is only by all of us working together than we can keep Cumbria safe.”

Superintendent Andy Huddleston - Head of National Rural Crime Team, said: "The establishment of a Rural Crime Team in Cumbria is a brilliant step. Nationally, we know that having dedicated specialist rural crime officers makes a big difference in detecting crime and reassuring communities

“The creation of this team will be pivotal in developing the expertise and resources for Cumbria, not only to address rural crime in their force area, but also to work with neighbouring forces to address the problems of cross-border offending they face. We very much look forward to working with them."