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Tackling Crime and Anti-social behaviour in the New Forest

27 July 2021

Working together to tackle rural crime and anti-social behaviour, including speeding and animal casualties, theft of machinery and animal worrying, was top of the agenda for Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones’ visit to the New Forest.

The new Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones spent the day in the New Forest on Friday 23 July 2021 to meet with a number of partners, including New Forest District Council, the Official Verderer, National Farmers Union (NFU), County Land Owners Association (CLA), to gain an in-depth understanding of the policing challenges in the rural district, community concerns.

During her visit Commissioner Jones went out in Stoney Cross with Inspector Korine Bishop, Hampshire Constabulary Rural Policing and Countrywatch lead to find out more about the measures already being taken to tackle rural crime such as the use of drones. This part of the visit included meeting with Forestry Commission Rangers and some of the Constabulary’s mounted volunteers who look out for crime and anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping, theft, deer poaching and sheep rustling, and report back to the police control room if they see anything suspicious.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said: “I really enjoyed meeting with the Forestry Commission, with the mounted patrol volunteers and also with the police and residents across the New Forest to hear about the really strong sense of community spirit, but also hearing feedback on issues to do with the safety of animals in relation to speeding traffic, anti-social behaviour and theft.

“We know that rural residents are feeling increasingly vulnerable to being the victims of crime and can feel neglected by police in favour of urban centres. Much is being done to increase capacity and capability to deal with crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s rural areas, including mobile CCTV, drone technology, increasing numbers of police officers and having a more visible presence. I would also urge residents to please keep reporting crime, it is only by knowing when and how frequently incidents are happening that the right level of resourcing can be allocated.”