Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews welcomed a trio of woolly visitors to Police HQ this week as part of an innovative training experience to acquaint officers with rural life.
Mr Matthews joined members of Leicestershire Police’s Rural Crime Team, contact management staff and new police officers in Enderby as they entertained a ewe and two lambs as part of an authentic introduction to rural life.
The visit was organised by PC Rob Cross, a Wildlife Crime Officer from the Leicestershire Police Rural Team, who keeps a small flock of sheep – the majority of which have recently lambed.
PC Cross brought along the three guests as a conversation starter to help staff and officers understand some of the issues faced by rural communities and the impact crime has on their livelihoods.
He set up a pen near the canteen at lunchtime where the spring visitors charmed staff and officers before returning home.
Mr Matthews said: “We are working very hard to connect with our rural communities and ensure local people feel supported and understood when it comes to tackling criminality. This visit was an ideal opportunity to focus our attention on the challenges faced by those who live and work in the countryside and the part our rural officers can play in making life safer.
“I would like to thank PC Cross for bringing these special guests into Force HQ and for sharing his personal experiences of livestock farming and the issues that will confront our new officers on the job.
“Happily, our visitors were on their best behaviour and appeared to enjoy the extra attention.
“Rural crime is a top priority for me and I am determined to secure the resources needed to tackle these problems effectively. Our Rural Crime Team is still evolving but has already become a huge asset to the force - and it is exciting to see the service taking shape and expanding to offer more support to our rural communities.”
PC Cross said: “We want to start more conversations about rural crime, the impact of it on the victim and we want to make dealing with rural crime very much part of daily business. We want all officers – especially local officers, contact management staff and new officers - to be aware of the wider issues associated with rural crime and policing.
“What better way to cement the idea of the rural team in officers’ minds than to bring in livestock?
“I keep a small flock of sheep – the majority of which have lambed so I am in the fortunate position to be able to bring a ewe with two lambs to HQ to raise our profile and speak to our colleagues in a fun way with the wider purpose of enhancing public confidence – especially if people know that we are available and approachable to help with rural policing matters.”
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Posted on Thursday 28th April 2022