Midhurst and Petworth police blitz rural crime

Police targeting rural crime in the Midhurst and surrounding areas.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131019-1
Police targeting rural crime in the Midhurst and surrounding areas.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131019-1

POLICE have stopped 146 vehicles in their latest joint operation with Surrey police designed to crack down on rural crime.

Operation Limestone now in its third year has been responsible for a 30 per cent drop in overall crime in the Midhurst and Petworth area.

“This equates to 239 fewer offences, which is unprecedented,” said Sgt Jonathan Chapman who leads the Midhurst and Petworth neighbourhood policing team.

“We are committed to ensuring Midhurst and Petworth and the surrounding villages remain hostile to those who prey on isolation and are currently planning in more joint operations for the coming months.”

In the latest operation officers Sgt Chapman’s police team joined the roads policing unit and dog section, spanning across southern Surrey as well as Chichester, Arun, Horsham and Crawley districts.

They patrolled in marked and unmarked vehicles.

And during the course of the officers stopped 146 vehicles, two arrests were made for theft of a vehicle and a breach of an anti-social behaviour order.

Officers also dealt with two collisions, 15 traffic offences including seizing three vehicles for driving without insurance and a quantity of lead from a suspect in Midhurst.

Officers also handed out leaflets to make traders aware of new licensing rules for scrap metal dealers to combat the blight of scrap metal thefts on communities.

Sgt Chapman added: “This was yet another very successful operation with many patrols doing visible and pro-active work across the districts.

“The success is testament to our commitment to reducing crime with our colleagues from Surrey and neighbouring districts.

“Operations of this kind provide ongoing reassurance to our rural communities that Sussex and Surrey Police are working collaboratively to combat rural crime.

“To continue this momentum and assist us, I would encourage the general public to report any suspicious behaviour however innocent you may feel it is to our non-emergency number 101. Your part is essential in gathering intelligence and by keeping this pressure on, criminals will not have an opportunity to commit crime.