Herts police's rural crime team puts businesses in the picture
Rural businesses in Hertfordshire have been updated on the work of the police unit dedicated to tackling crime in the countryside.
Sgt Ryan Hemmings, who leads Herts Constabulary's rural operational support team (ROST), said: "Many people may not see rural crime as a priority issue, but for those living in these communities, the impact of it can be absolutely devastating.
"We want to ensure that we are doing all we can to support our rural communities across the county, to make them feel safer, build relationships and ultimately increase their confidence in us."
Sgt Hemmings was addressing members of the Independent Business Advisory Group (IBAG) set up by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd.
The team has a Polaris utility vehicle and quad bikes for deployment where conventional police vehicles cannot go. The off-road capability boosts their ability to combat hare coursing or nuisance motorbike riders.
ROST also has a drone to search large areas quickly – used recently to find stolen vehicles – and camouflaged wildlife cameras at crime hotspots.
Mr Lloyd said: "My fundamental responsibility is to represent the people and ensure that all our communities get a policing service which meets their needs. The ROST team are doing some great work and build trust and engagement with those rural groups which can feel isolated and alone."
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner established IBAG so a range of businesses from sectors such as the rural community, retail, leisure, technology and professional services, along with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership and Federation of Small Businesses, can discuss key issues around business crime and share best practice.