Tewkesbury officers work alongside partner agencies during rural crime operation
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The Tewkesbury Neighbourhood Policing Team took part in a rural crime operation on Monday which saw officers stop and inspect 104 vehicles.
Operation Silvanus was conducted with Tewkesbury Borough Council’s environmental health team as part of the policing response to an increase in agricultural and plant theft and other rural crimes such as fly tipping.
The operation was part of a commitment by both Gloucestershire Constabulary and Tewkesbury Borough Council to work together to reduce the impact of environmental crime across Tewkesbury Borough. It followed a similar successful operation which was undertaken in 2018.
The vehicles, which included trailers, HGVs and plant machinery, were searched to ensure that stolen items were not being carried and that drivers were in possession of the correct paperwork.
Six vehicles had their Tachographs checked, 12 trailers were checked and three plant machinery vehicles were checked for correct paperwork. Searches of the rear of larger vehicles were also done under consent of the driver.
Environmental health officers conducted waste licence checks on 38 vehicles, with three people now subject to enforcement action and further enquiries will now be made with five people.
PC Phil Mawdsley from the Rural Crime and Tewkesbury Neighbourhood Policing Teams said: "The reasoning behind Monday's operation was the cost to the landowner of Rural Crime. Offences in the South West region rose from 2019 to 2020 as organised crime gangs targeted high value tractors, plant machinery and quads amongst other items.
"Quad and plant machinery theft also rose nationwide in the last year and I hope that this operation shows our commitment to tackling the issue."
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment, Councillor Jim Mason, said: "I’m really pleased that the council’s environmental health team has once again been working with Gloucestershire Constabulary on a special operation to reduce environmental crime across Tewkesbury Borough.
"Due to the rural nature of our borough, I know our residents feel passionately about the harmful effects of environmental crime, so they will be reassured to hear about the success of this operation.
"We are committed to partnering with the constabulary in the future to build on what’s already been achieved and to further reduce the impact of waste crime on our local communities."