Video: Two arrests after rural crime raids on farms

Two men have been arrested and thousands of pounds worth of stolen agricultural and plant machinery has been recovered after police carried out dawn raids in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police executed a warrant to enter two farms in Occupation Lane and Old Hlll Lane, in East Bridgford, at 8am on Thursday 27 January.

At the same time, their policing colleagues carried out two further raids in Hyde Lane and off the Hartington stretch of the A515, in Derbyshire. Farmers Weekly understands that one of these addresses was a working farm.

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From these addresses, officers recovered a number of items included car and digger parts, as well as trailers, farm vehicles and quad bikes. They also recovered a quantity of cash, machinery and generators, which are suspected as stolen.

Two men, aged 23 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of theft, handling stolen goods and conspiracy to commit theft.

Stolen machinery farm raid Derbyshire

© Derbyshire Rural Crime Team/Facebook

Specialist operation

The raids were carried out as part of Operation Sahara – a rural crime operation led by Nottinghamshire Police which has been launched to tackle rural theft of farm machinery and tools and equipment from farmers and landowners.

Sgt James Ross, who is leading the operation, grew up on a farm himself. He said having seen the importance of farm equipment and the devastation such crime can cause first hand, the day of action was something he felt was important to have during the crackdown.

“The impact this type of crime has for farmers and the rural community is huge,” said Sgt Ross.

“When we get a report of equipment having been stolen, this is not only costly in itself for the victims, but we often see that in the midst of these offences, suspects have also damaged farmland, fencing and valuable crops.

“This means victims can be left thousands and thousands of pounds out of pocket, as well as without the ability to conduct their daily business in the usual way, which after all is their livelihood.”


Sgt Ross added that rural communities should be confident that there are strong systems in place thanks to partnerships with other rural crime teams, including Derbyshire and Leicestershire, security firms and machinery manufacturers.

“These criminals travel and rural crime has no borders, so it’s really important we have that partnership and we are ready to act wherever they might be,” he added.

Stolen farming goods can often be linked to counterfeit cash or drugs as part of a larger criminal organisation, and criminals involved in rural crime use sophisticated techniques to try and get away with their offences, Sgt Ross said.

For example, hare coursing is often live streamed over the internet with huge sums of money exchanged, while the landowner must deal with the damage caused to the farm.

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