July 2016 Rural crime Newsletter. Hello

July 2016
Rural crime Newsletter.

Hello everyone- I’d like to start with some good news:

I am pleased to report that the first group of Hare Coursers caught by the RCAT since the unit was reformed appeared at court in Peterborough on 6th of July 2016. All entered guilty pleas at the first hearing and were fined between £300 and £400. As a team, RCAT officers have been working hard to make sure that the files that we submit to the CPS are of a very high standard leaving the defendants with no option but to plead guilty as soon as they can. I would urge you all to keep reporting incidents of coursing and rural crime to the police using the 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (it is happening now, emergency) service.

Hare Coursing

Month on Month: – June 2015 – 28 reported incidents.
June 2016 – 13 reported incidents (-47%). 6 Immediate, 2 Prompt, 5 No response.
East Cambs 6 (46%)
South Cambs 3 (23%)
Peterborough 3 (23%)
Fens 1
Huntingdon nil.

Whilst the monthly comparisons 2015/2016 is down 47% I want to assure you there is no risk of complacency with officers. We know and are as prepared as much as we can for what this season will bring us.

Church Lead Theft

I am sad to say that churches within Cambridgeshire have been the victims of theft again this last month with Meldreth Church being targeted on 12th July, Comberton on 14th and most recently Thornhaugh in the North of the county being attempted with lead lifted but not stolen.

The RCAT team have just finished two weeks of solid nights to try combatting this crime which is not only hurting Cambridgeshire but our surrounding forces as well.

We need every bit of help from anyone seeing suspicious activity during the hours of darkness in or around churches. This would be lights getting moved or broken, vans parked next to churches, convoys of 2/3 vehicles moving through villages together at night. If you see anything like this I urge you to ring 999 immediately.

We are working closely with the Diocese of Ely and Peterborough to alert people to the risk, connecting with all our surrounding forces to share intelligence and opportunities to stop this crime happening.
Trailer Theft

RCAT officers have also focussed on trailer theft also this month and thankfully trailer theft has significantly reduced over the county. They did however stop two caravans which had been stolen hours earlier from Huntingdon. Two offenders arrested and caravans returned to very grateful owners.

We have been working closely with Clive Harris from NFU Mutual with this trailer initiative and would like to thank him for his consistent support.
One of the stolen caravans from Huntingdon recovered by RCAT can be seen of on the next page.

Machinery Thefts

Theft of machinery across the county have been a constant with a John Deer compact tractor and Sisis scarifier being stolen from Emmanuelle College. Other thefts include Husqvarna, John Deere and MTD ride on lawn mowers being stolen from Littleport.

Again our message is record the details of machinery, photograph it, mark it and ensure appropriate security measures are put in place to prevent theft.
I have mentioned before that larger machines are being stolen to facilitate serious offences. A telehandler stolen from Winwick on 27/7 was used in the ATM burglary at Sawtry Post Office. It is worthy of note that an attempt had been made the same night at Woodwalton but the machine had additional security device fitted preventing its theft. A third telehander was also stolen but crashed in the same area on the same night. This clearly indicating offenders are scoping areas and doing reconnaissance before committing their primary offence to see where machinery can be located. Report any suspicious visit or activity please.
We currently have a JCB telehandler outstanding from Thorney stolen on 1st of month. Hypothesis is its been stored for later use or already shipped out of area.

Diesel Theft

A quantity or red diesel was stolen from an excavator in Ely, 3 tractors had red diesel syphoned from them in Willingham and some domestic heating oil was stolen from Great Staughton.

Officers did arrest a male stealing diesel near to Newmarket – he is now on police bail whilst officer collect additional evidence.


Two batteries were stolen from an electric fence near Glinton in the north of the county and really unusually some sheep were stolen from a field near to Six Mile Bottom. It is suspected offenders were looking to return for more as others had been corralled ready for collection.

Inspector Dick Turner- RCAT

Op Hunter – Crime Prevention Event at Melbourn

Op Hunter – Crime Prevention Event at Melbourn Village Hub

Last night (Tuesday 8th August 2016) we held another ‘Op Hunter’ crime prevention event in Melbourn. We’ve been running these for the last few months and we’ve worked out a successful formula. Following lots of pre-event publicity we saturate the village with as many members of staff as we can muster. We go door to door offering home security surveys in those streets we’ve identified as being at the most risk. At the same time we use a community facility to set up a drop in centre where anyone can come and get expert advice on home security- we also sell some simple security products (at cost- no profit made) that we think are useful and quality products. Finally we hold a crime prevention seminar which covers some of the big topics- how to criminals select their targets? How do you prevent burglary, shed breaks, vehicle crime and cyber crime?

Crime prevention is a big topic, but here are the key facts:

1. It’s not bad luck- criminals select their targets based on risk vs reward, not randomly. This means that it’s important to try to change the calculation they make when looking at your property.

2. The risk goes up if someone is home- if your home is unoccupied, make it look (and sound) like someone is at home- timer switches, dummy TVs, leaving the radio on a talkie channel are all very cheap and effective ways of deterring a burglar.

3. The harder it is to get in- the bigger the risk. Physical security is the foundation for crime prevention- *good* window and door locks that are actually used (without the keys being left in the lock) are an absolute must.

4. Most burglaries take place to the rear of the property- if you have a side gate then this is your first line of defence- lock it and make it harder for the burglar.

5. Lighting- burglars don’t like to be seen: motion activated or timed external security lighting is effective.

6. Burglar alarms. Actually not a clear cut issue- In my personnel opinion you should only consider this *after* you’ve done the other things first. If you are considering an alarm, do your research, get the best one you can afford and if you are going to pay for installation- make sure you get a range of quotes. And NEVER buy from a door-to-door salesman: they might not be competitive rates, could be scam artists and sometimes use pressure tactics.

Finally, take the Bad-Wolf-Test- a 2 minute check of your home security. If your security isn’t up to scratch we’ll point you in the right direction for help or come out to see you.


Here’s a photo from last nights event. I’d like to thank Melbourn village hub for supporting us and letting us use their great facility and for the fantastic support we received from local Cllrs and residents: it was great to see so many of you. My team of PCSOs and staff really care about crime prevention and I’m pretty blooming proud of them at events like this

Chief Inspector James Sutherland
Area Commander- South Cambs http://ow.ly/i/lZ6c6

Arrests made for fake gold scam


On Friday the 6th August four arrests were made following a call from a member of the public about people flagging them down at the side of the A505 and asking for money in exchange for gold.  Two of the males were subsequently charged with possession of an article for use in fraud and appeared before Cambridge magistrates on Saturday the 9th August.  They pleaded guilty and were subsequently fined £335 each.

The two males charged were Gheorghe Miclescy and Flavius Miclescu,

Cambridgeshire police urge members of the public to call us on 101 if they see this activity occurring, often people are flagged down and asked for cash to buy fuel in exchange for some fake gold or jewellery.