The Rural Engagement Team (RET) has recently expanded as part of Essex Police and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s dedication to providing visible policing.
Under the leadership of Chief Inspector Terry Balding, the team work with partner agencies and residents to tackle all crime in rural areas including specific issues like unauthorised traveller encampments, hare coursing, night-hawking and flytipping.
RET welcomed three new police constables and a sergeant this autumn, and will be joined by additional officers in early 2020.
The growth of Essex Police as a force follows increased investment from the precept delivered by the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.
When asked about his plans for the team Chief Insp Balding said: “The rural communities in Essex are a large part of our county and can present some challenges which are not experienced in other areas. I am determined to protect and serve everyone within it regardless of the crime type or area of residence.
“One of our aims is to help those living in more isolated areas feel safe. To do this we will be working with our partners and the local rural and farming communities.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Over the past three and a half years we have worked hard with our rural communities to tackle criminal activity.
“We have provided advice to prevent crime from happening and support to those who have unfortunately been victims which has been welcomed by those living and working in the rural communities of Essex.
“Since Essex Police launched its dedicated team to fight rural crime in 2017, we have been really impressed with its success and the positive feedback the team has had from our partners. On the back of this, and as a priority in our Police and Crime Plan, we secured funding in 2019-20 to enable this dedicated Rural Engagement Team to expand. The additional growth in the team announced today will help us work even more closely with our rural communities to help keep them safe.”
This week is the national week of action for rural crime. The RET will be carrying out a number of activities throughout the week focusing on issues that affect local business, wildlife and rural communities.