17 May 2002

Derbys police vehicle check

SOUTH Derbyshire Police is to begin a stop and search programme for vehicles in rural areas in an effort to end a wave of farm machinery thefts.

Constable Ged Grace of South Derbyshire Polices rural crime unit appealed for co-operation from farmers, gamekeepers and landowners. "Stopping and searching farm machinery will be inconvenient for people going about their work, but something has to be done to deter and, hopefully, catch rural criminals."

PC Grace said the upsurge in crime began six months ago, since when thousands of trailers, pressure washers and horse boxes had disappeared in what he believed was an organised crime wave.

"It has to be organised to cope with this much equipment. The larger equipment will probably end up abroad. To tackle something this big we need rural people to be our eyes and ears," he said.

lIf you have any information call Derbyshire Police in confidence on 01332-290100 and ask for the rural unit. &#42