Police are stepping up training for officers to tackle rural crime

Sheep have visited the county police HQ as part of an innovative training experience to get officers more used to working in rural areas.

By Nick Rennie
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:57 pm
Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews with one of the visiting lambs and Sgt Paul Archer, of the Rural Crime Team
Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews with one of the visiting lambs and Sgt Paul Archer, of the Rural Crime Team

Members of Leicestershire Police's rural crime team, contact management staff and new officers entertained a ewe and two lambs at the Enderby head office.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews was also there to welcome the woolly visitors at am initiative organised by Pc Rob Cross, a wildlife crime officer in the rural policing team, who keeps a small flock of sheep, the majority of which have recently lambed.

PC Cross brought along the three guests as a conversation starter to help staff and officers understand some of the issues faced by rural communities and the impact crime has on their livelihoods.

He set up a pen near the canteen at lunchtime where the spring visitors charmed staff and officers before returning home.

PC Cross said: "We want to start more conversations about rural crime, the impact of it on the victim and we want to make dealing with rural crime very much part of daily business.

"We want all officers - especially local officers, contact management staff and new officers - to be aware of the wider issues associated with rural crime and policing.

"What better way to cement the idea of the rural team in officers' minds than to bring in livestock?

"I am in the fortunate position to be able to bring a ewe with two lambs to HQ to raise our profile and speak to our colleagues in a fun way with the wider purpose of enhancing public confidence - especially if people know that we are available and approachable to help with rural policing matters."

Mr Matthews said: "We are working very hard to connect with our rural communities and ensure local people feel supported and understood when it comes to tackling criminality.

"This visit was an ideal opportunity to focus our attention on the challenges faced by those who live and work in the countryside and the part our rural officers can play in making life safer."