POLICE have been at a stately home highlighting a fresh bid to combat rural crime.

North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force took to the grounds of Castle Howard with their new off-road motorbikes and a fresh focus on Monday. 

The team launched its new operating model this week, which will see an increase in intelligence led operations in partnership with bordering forces, other specialist policing teams, and local policing departments. 

They say the new approach will see 'relentless targeting of high harm offenders and organised crime groups'.

The force say that poaching is the number one rural crime issue in North Yorkshire and the county is sadly the worst place in the UK for persecution of birds of prey. 

The two new off-road bikes mean the team now has four of these specialist vehicles. The bikes allow police to access hard to reach locations, offering increased ability to detect and deter acquisitive crime in rural communities.

Inspector Clive Turner from our Rural Task Force said: 

“The Rural Task Force was introduced in 2016. We know crime trends and demand changes over time and that our response needs to react to this and that is why we have a new operating model, to make sure we are even more effective in tackling rural crime issues such as poaching and theft of rural vehicles. 

“Rural crime causes a great deal of harm in our rural communities. We recognise the need to go after the hard-hitting offenders and this new approach to how we work will ensure we have the best possible chance of hitting those offenders with maximum impact.

“If you see anything you think might be suspicious when you are in a rural area please contact police. 

“Dial 101, press 1 and pass information on to the Force Control Room. Dial 999 in an emergency.

"Our rural communities are one of the best things about our beautiful county and we will do everything we can to protect them."