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Nine arrests during rural crime crackdown in West Berkshire

Police aim to make West Berkshire a 'hostile area' for criminals

Chris Ord


01635 886639

A TWO-WEEK crackdown on rural crime in West Berkshire has resulted in nine arrests and four warnings, according to figures from Thames Valley Police.

Operation Flax was carried out between November 30 and 13 December with more than 40 officers taking part.

Three people, two boys aged 17 and one man aged 19 all from Burghfield Common, were arrested on December 2 of suspicion of burglary non dwelling.

They have been released on police bail until 25 January.

A 21-year-old man from Banbury and a boy aged 15 from Grazeley were arrested on December 10 on suspicion of day poaching and have been released on police bail until January 30.

During some phases of the operation, which saw officers spend an extra 215 hours in the rural community, members of the rural community accompanied police, acting as ‘spotters’ looking out for suspicious activity.

Suspicious vehicles in rural locations were stopped and checked by police, which resulted in five arrests and four section 59 warnings issued for illegal off roading

A total of 26 members of the rural community were visited on engagement visits with a small number raising concerns over repeat hare coursing.

Sgt Alan Hawkett, from Newbury police station, said: “The results of Operation Flax demonstrate our commitment to the rural community in West Berkshire in tackling rural crime, which is a Force priority, and will continue to make West Berkshire a hostile area for rural crime offenders.”

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