South Yorkshire rural crime operation hailed success

Officers during the brief for Operation Dunlin
Officers during the brief for Operation Dunlin

A rural crime operation which took place in South Yorkshire has been hailed a success by police, after a number of vehicles, rifles and drugs were seized. 

Around 50 police officers and staff took part in Operation Dunlin on November 8 to target rural crime across the county. 

A car - which had been seized after a diesel tank was found in the boot - being dipped for red diesel

A car - which had been seized after a diesel tank was found in the boot - being dipped for red diesel

During the day officers carried out proactive warrants on badger baiting, before patrolling rural areas in the evening, to target theft and disrupt any poaching activity.

Across South Yorkshire a total of 21 vehicles and 25 people were also stopped and searched.

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In Doncaster, police executed a warrant at an address in Church Street, Stainforth – with the support from the Doncaster Tasking Team and the National Wildlife Crime Unit – granted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, following posts on Facebook relating to badger baiting.

Rifles which were seized in Doncaster

Rifles which were seized in Doncaster

At the property, they located items which featured in the posts, but also discovered four cannabis plants in the loft, and that the electricity metre had been bypassed.

Whilst in Tickhill, a man was reported on summons by the off road team, for possessing a knife and an ecstasy tablet and two loaded rifles were handed over for destruction by men who were caught carrying out pest control. 

Results in Sheffield included one person who was reported for possession of cannabis, after being found taking an off-road driving tour of Houndkirk Moor.

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An off-road vehicle during a stop and search in Thurcroft, Rotherham

An off-road vehicle during a stop and search in Thurcroft, Rotherham

And in Rotherham, two vehicles were recovered with no insurance, one of which was being driven by a man with no licence who also had equipment in the boot of the car which could be used to syphon diesel. 

Across Barnsley, officers spoke to over a dozen landowners who had experienced recent poaching and theft, in an effort to reassure them and further foot patrols were carried out at farms who had previous problems with theft of diesel from farm machinery. 

Checks were also carried out on eight badger sets within Penistone and Wombwell Woods where badgers are known to be present.

And, whilst carrying out another search, police seized a screwdriver from a man, who had previous for burglary.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley, force lead for local policing and rural crime said he was proud of what the force were able to achieve during Operation Dunlin, thanking staff and their partner agencies for their efforts. 

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He added: “Crimes such as badger baiting, deer causing, lamping and theft have a significant impact on rural communities and it is important that we tackle this head on.

“We hope these results reassure our rural communities and shows our commitment to tackling crime and preventing future crimes.”

Police will return to rural areas on November 21, to offer farmers crime prevention advice and share forensic marking equipment to enable them to protect their properties.

Farmers can register their interest on the South Yorkshire Police Rural Facebook page.