Pictured from left to right: chief superintendent JonDrake (temporary assistant chief constable), Hallmark Tractors Peter Donegan,PC Pete Clarke, Hallmark Tractors Jim Nash and inspector Geoff Knight.
A New Holland tractor has joined the ranks at Staffordshire Police tohelp tackle countryside crime.
The T5.105 Electro Command has been donated until November byNew Holland dealership Hallmark Tractors, based in Ashbourne, to the countyspolice force as a way of boosting visibility in rural areas and connecting withfarmers.
Agricultural communities can be very isolated and the police hope thetractor decked out in police colours will be a high profile andeye-catching way to engage more closely with busy residents and workers.
Hallmark Tractors managing director Jim Nash explained: New Holland andourselves are very pleased to have the chance to help out our local policeforce to promote the many local farming-related services that they have onhand, and also to engage the public with the valuable services that the policeoffer.
The tractor joins Staffordshire Polices ongoing operation in whichevery officer, including special constables, is tasked with detecting andtackling rural and wildlife crime. Each has undergone special training and hasthe support of a lead officer in every local policing team.
New Holland area sales manager Rob Dee said: Seeing the T5.105 in itspolice uniform was a very proud moment. Were delighted to be assistingofficers to tackle crime, and reassure the farming community.
Our dealer network is a real strength of New Holland. This example ofpartnership goes to show that its not only of huge benefit to our customerservice, but also to supporting local communities and services.
As well as being used in active duty, the 107hp New Holland tractorwill appear at events across Staffordshire in the coming months. It was a starattraction at the forces recent Open Day which drew nearly 7,500 people to itsStafford HQ.
Inspector Geoff Knight, commander of the South Staffordshire Local PolicingTeam, explained: PC Pete Clarke, my wildlife officer, made the approach toHallmark and they were more than receptive to the idea, given their closecontacts in the farming community, awareness of the issues and its effects.
The tractor may seem like a gimmick but what it will achieve hopefullyis new relationships with our farming communities; by working with them andgiving clear advice and service to improve crime prevention we can plough aheadin the fight against rural crime. We once again extend our thanks to HallmarkTractors for their kindness.
Rural crimes, including those against wildlife, are on a downward trendin the county, according to the police. At the start of 2011, it made up over20 per cent of reported crime compared to 13.7 per cent by the end of 2013.