FLYTIPPING, speeding and thefts from farms are the priorities for the new police team covering the villages and hamlets north of Swindon.
PC Marc Jackson, the community beat manager for rural north, and local PCSO Juliet Evans are calling on residents and farmers to report incidents to help them reduce crime.
PC Jackson, who recently qualified as a wildlife officer, will also work with other agencies to tackle poaching, theft of birds, illegal trapping and other offences against animals.
He said: “It will be challenging to get into the communities because a lot of the communities are quite tight-knit.
“Possibly in the past they haven’t been particularly served well by the police and other agencies.
“I am quite keen to break down some of those barriers, to become an integral part of the communities, to encourage people to talk to us, so we can tackle crime.”
PC Jackson, 33, who grew up in Highworth, was the community beat manager at Highworth neighbourhood police team for three years before moving this month to the rural north team.
The team covers about 90 square miles of countryside, taking in Inglesham, Sevenhampton, South Marston, Blunsdon, Hannington, Castle Eaton and Stanton Fitzwarren.
Initially the team will focus on targeting speeding on Broad Bush, South Marston and flytipping at about three to four ‘grotspots’ across the wider area.
They will continue Operation Deepak, launched this autumn, which will see officers team up with farmers and gamekeepers to deter thieves from taking farm property, such as diesel, machinery and scrap metal.
As a wildlife officer, PC Jackson will also work alongside DEFRA and the Environment Agency to enforce rural legislation, including the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Hunting Act.
PC Jackson said: “A lot of the farmers we know are getting problems but they aren’t reporting it because they are just putting it down to ‘Oh well, it’s happened, we will move on’.
“But we want them to tell us it’s happening so we can do something about it. We are happy to help.”
Over the next month, the team will put flyers in village halls, shops, pubs and other community facilities to introduce themselves to the community and inform them of the next police drop-in sessions. To contact the team, call 0845 408 7000 or email Marc.Jackson@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk.