Arrests in rural crime campaign

Norfolk police have arrested five people as part of an operation which aims to clampdown on rural crime.

Operation Randall has seen the force set up a dedicated team of officers to gather intelligence and help reduce agricultural crime. The EDP is backing the operation with its own Farm Alert campaign, encouraging communities to support the police by reporting suspicious activity.

Det Supt Nick Dean said information from members of the public had already led to some early successes.

One man is currently on police bail after being arrested in the Nordelph area, near Downham Market. The force had received reports of a suspicious white transit van seen in and around farm buildings.

When the van was searched, officers discovered high value batteries which they believe were stolen.

In a separate incident, the team received reports of a white pick-up truck in suspicious circumstances in West Lynn. Two men from the Newark area were arrested after high value wheels were found.

Two other men were arrested at Docking after being seen on farm premises stealing scrap metal. The suspects are from Nottinghamshire.

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Mr Dean said: 'This operation relies very much on the co-operation and vigilance of the public. Whether it's farmers or people living and working in rural areas, they know best when something isn't right.

'I am really pleased with the response and particularly because the cases were reported by the public and were then acted upon and results obtained.'

The force has formed an alliance with the Farm Watch scheme, the National Farmers' Union, Norfolk hunts and leading Norwich-based agricultural engineers Ben Burgess.

It is also encouraging people to sign up to police direct to receive regular updates and warnings of crimes in their area.

• Report crimes or suspicious activity by ringing 0845 4564567 and quoting 'Operation Randall'. Ring 999 in an emergency. Visit to sign up for police direct.