New off-road vehicles give boost to fight against rural crime


Gloucestershire’s fight against rural crime has been given a boost by the introduction of two new all-terrain vehicles which are due to hit the roads in the next few days.

The vehicles, a Polaris Ranger off road buggy and a Suzuki King Quad 4×4, are on loan to Gloucestershire Constabulary from Cotswold Farm Machinery / Logic and Ace ATV, all local companies, and will allow officers to quickly reach areas which are otherwise difficult to access and stop poachers and other offenders in their tracks.

They will be used throughout the county, responding to reports of poaching, hare coursing and other crimes, and their arrival has been welcomed by the whole Rural Crime Team.

Inspector Karen Ellis: “We are very grateful to Cotswold Farm Machinery, Logic and Ace ATV for the loan of these high powered vehiclesand equipment to help our fight against rural crime.

“They are already in service and our rural crime officers are being trained to use them off-road so they will be available anywhere in the county as required.

“We are confident that they will make a significant difference to our ability to catch offenders and put a stop to the crimes they are committing, including poaching of deer and fish, hare coursing, illegal off-road motor and quad bike racing as well as rural burglary and the theft of agricultural machinery.

“We will be able to go anywhere, during any weather conditions,  and this greatly improves our chances of catching criminals red-handed,especially during this year’s anti hare coursing operations throughout the summer ( Operation Firefly).

“The vehicles could also be used to help locate missing vulnerable people in remote locations.”

Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: “Policing a county as diverse as Gloucestershire requires different approaches to getting officers where they need to be.

“Fighting rural crime is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan and the Constabulary’s Neighbourhood Policing strategy, as so many communities are rural and deeply affected by offending in their area.

“Taking the larger vehicles deeper in to rural areas isn’t always possible, so having these two off-roaders makes perfect sense.

“Officers will be able to get to those hard-to-reach places much quicker and more effectively, to bring offenders to justice, find and collect evidence and help victims.”

Simon Carrington, managing director of Cotswold Farm Machinery, said: “We have supplied these vehicles to support the police in dealing with crimes that affect the whole community as we have seen the devastating impact rural crime has on our customers and their families.

“We recognise that these are challenging times for everyone and wanted to do something positive to address the issues.”