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Rural crime group

Avon and Somerset, and Devon and Cornwall, Police have joined with other agencies to form a new group aimed at the rise in rural crime. A rise in deer poaching has been a concern in Exmoor National Park and the National Park Authority is already in contact with both forces on this and other issues.

Other agencies with an interest in the countryside have joined up to create the Exmoor Rural Crime Initiative (ERCI) and seek to prevent illegal practices in the Exmoor area.
The new group comprises of the two police forces, Exmoor National Park Authority, The National Trust, the Environment Agency, The Crown Estate, River Exe Tributaries Association, Forestry Commission and the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

Richard Eales, Ranger for Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “The group’s purpose is to have a partnership approach in dealing with all aspects of rural crime within the Greater Exmoor area. Whilst this is a joint agency initiative I would encourage the community to report all aspects of crime including wildlife crime directly to the police by phoning 101 or via their websites www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or www.devon-cornwall.police.uk.”

The three main aims of the group are prevention of deer and fish poaching, prevention of illegal off-road driving and raising the awareness and education within the communities on all aspects of crime and crime reduction.

Sergeant Andy Whysall of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said: “This is an excellent example of how, by working together, we can raise public confidence within our local communities and those visiting the Greater Exmoor area.”

And Sergeant Dave Knight, Devon and Cornwall Police, added: “The Exmoor National Park extends across both the policing areas and the park and it’s community has, in the past, been subject to different forms of criminality. By working together in partnership the aim is to reduce the rural crime and raise confidence to the benefit of all.”
The group’s timely formation fits in with the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s Project Trespass, which will assist in achieving the objectives of the group. They will look to be particularly active in the coming autumn when the majority of deer and fish poaching takes place.

In the meantime the public are asked to report any incidents relating to wildlife crime or any other crime by phoning 101 or via their websites www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or www.devon-cornwall.police.uk.

For more information on the NWCU – Project Trespass, visit: http://www.nwcu.police.uk


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