Police role contender pledges new crackdown on rural crimes in North Yorkshire

A candidate for May’s North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election, has promised a major clampdown on rural crimes including theft, criminal damage, poaching and hare coursing, if elected, including an expansion of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system..

Monday, 15th February 2021, 4:51 pm
If elected in the PFCC elections for North Yorkshire, Philip Allott, (Conservative) plans an expansion of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system to target drivers who are coming across the border.

Philip Allott, (Conservative) says rural crimes such as quad bike theft, poaching and hare coursing are often committed by perpetrators travelling into North Yorkshire from adjoining counties to steal, needlessly kill animals and cause damage to farmland.

But Mr Allott says that, thanks to the creation of the rural police taskforce and the development of rural watch volunteers, far more work has been done in recent years to track, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.

To address these issues, Mr Allott plans an expansion of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system to target drivers who are coming across the border from neighbouring counties as well as more local suspects with a track record of being involved in rural crimes.

Those identified could be stopped on the basis of reasonable suspicion and have their vehicles searched. More police resources will also be devoted to ensuing (post COVID-19) that sufficient evidence is obtained to have more persecutions and increased publicity about those successfully prosecuted.

The Tory candidate said: “Rural criminals have little regard for the farming community, and often cause animal cruelty, steal valuable farm equipment and cause thousands of pounds of damage to crops and farmland each year.

"Rural communities face intimidation, and the threat of violence if they challenge offenders, leaving them feeling vulnerable to further crimes, particularly in the more isolated locations. I want an even tougher line to make it clear to the perpetrators that if you break the law you will be arrested and held to account.”

The penalties for committing rural crimes such as hare coursing can be severe with unlimited fines under the Hunting Act and if intimidation, theft or violence is involved, imprisonment, and a criminal record.

Mr Allott also supports a growing call for even tougher sentences for hare coursing and any other animal cruelty.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections in North Yorkshire, May 6, 2021

The candidates

Conservative: Philip Allott

Labour: Alison Hume

Independent: Keith Tordoff MBE.

Lib Dem: The party told the Harrogate Advertiser the process is underway to find a replacement for the Lib Dem PFCC candidate for North Yorkshire after the original candidate chosen Mark Christie moved on to be the Lib Dem PFCC candidate for Cumbria.

Factfile: North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections will take place on Thursday, May 6; the same day as the North Yorkshire County Council Elections.

PFCCs are elected every four years and are elected representatives who oversee a police force and fire service area.

There will be one PFCC elected for all of North Yorkshire.

The winner will replace the current commissioner Julia Mulligan, who has come to the end of her term.

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