We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Cambridgeshire pilot could cut cross-border offending

A pioneering response to rural crime could help forces tackle cross-border crime. But they’ll need a shared IT system, the lead forces says.

A seven-force collaboration taking on sophisticated hare coursing gangs could help forces tackle cross border offending.

According to the Cambridgeshire team that devised a way of getting convictions with multiple forces, offenders could be prosecuted earlier.

And the Crown Prosecution has backed their approach.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has teamed up with six other police forces in the Eastern Region in an effort to tackle hare coursing.

The borders between the forces, which include Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, have been removed when using certain tactics, making apprehending and prosecuting offenders easier.

A deal negotiated with the Crown Prosecution Service, means the forces become one when issuing a Community Protection Notice or escalating this to a Community Protection Order – or getting confiscation orders.

Sergeant Craig Flavell from the Rural Crime Action Team, said: “The agreement effectively means that anyone caught committing anti-social behaviour (ASB) related to coursing, say in Norfolk, would be seen as also committing this in Kent.

“We’ve got offenders coming into the area from London, Sussex, Surrey and Kent. Hare coursing is a major problem for us – we made over 150 arrests last season.”

He added: “It will allow us to move to arrest stage a lot quicker.”

The initiative goes live from September after months of negotiations between the forces involved and the CPS.

It’s possible because the forces are on the same information sharing system, Athena.

The initiative is the brainchild of Detective Constable Tom Nuttall who worked with the other forces to bring the deal together.

He told Police Oracle: “We’re the first of a kind, so this is a test. But the CPS thinks it’s sound and the force solicitor thinks it’s sound.”

And the initiative could be widened to cover any criminal activity that crosses force borders.

It’s been a cause of concern for years among Chiefs and HM Inspectorate.

Last year, HMI warned “current policing models are too disjointed to allow for the most effective response”.

It said: “Police forces are under pressure to prioritise activity to tackle crimes in their own area, rather than those happening many miles away. Each police force must work well across force borders. Policing must work, with the National Crime Agency, as a single system – locally, regionally and nationally.”

DC Nuttall said Cambridgeshire’s solution could be used for other issues such as people trafficking or County Lines activity.

He told Police Oracle: “If there is defined offending that has a defined effect on the community then, yes, this approach could be used.”

The NPCC said it will be looking to see how the initiative works and encouraged other forces to find out how the partnership had come about: “Forces can share good practice without having to go through the NPCC.”

Leave a Comment
In Other News
Cross border prosecution deals with hare coursing issue
Thames Valley rural crime unit to bolster cross border work
Dispersal zones and multiple arrests in drive against hare coursing
Hare coursing laws toughened in victory for rural crime teams
Hotspot policing is rolled out to 18 more forces with funding
Cambridgeshire officer cleared by IOPC in missing persons case
Crime reporting site isn't enough, say women's safety campaigners
Cambridgeshire joins Pegasus to boost call responses
Crimestoppers turns focus on rural crime as costs pass £43m
Technology is driving high-value rural crime, insurer warns
Forces back tracking devices in bid to beat rural crime
Warwickshire first to get Historic England heritage crime training
Rural taskforces deploy after rise in hare coursing
More News