Praise for Galileo impact comes from police head

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.
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A 16 per cent drop in reported cases of hare coursing across South Holland and Lincolnshire has been described as evidence of police making a “real difference”.

The claim from Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones came after mid-season results for Operation Galileo showed that the number of reported incidents had dropped from 1,216, between September and October 2016, to 1,014 for the same period in 2017.

Operation Vivid is launched by Inspector Gareth Boxall and ShopWatch coordinator Stuart Brotherton.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG041217-105TW.

Operation Vivid is launched by Inspector Gareth Boxall and ShopWatch coordinator Stuart Brotherton. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG041217-105TW.

Mr Jones said: “I made it clear when I was elected that I would put rural community safety at the forefront of policing priorities and, with that in mind, I worked with the force to ensure they were equipped with the right tools to tackle the issue.

“I am delighted to see that this new investment, alongside the dedication and hard work of frontline officers, has begun to make a real difference in combating the gangs at the root of hare coursing.

“These offenders not only inflict great cruelty on animals but often bring other criminal activities to the areas they target.

“At a time when other forces are reporting huge increases, we will continue the fight to keep them out of our county.”

I made it clear when I was elected that I would put rural community safety at the forefront of policing priorities

Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Meanwhile, a pre-Christmas police operation targeting shoplifting and disorder in Spalding town centre is to go on after encouraging results.

Operation Vivid saw police patrols stepped up during December prevent shop theft and anti-social behaviour in the run-up to Christmas,

South Holland policing inspector Gareth Boxall said: “In comparison to December 2016, we saw a 27 per cent reduction in shop theft for Spalding and a 13 per cent drop across South Holland.

“At a time when we were expecting an increase in incidents, we were quite happy with the reduction.

“We are continuing to police anti-social behaviour in Spalding itself, with a great deal of focus on Hall Place.

“But that isn’t to say that our officers won’t venture out into other places as well because they will go as and where problems arise.

“I would encourage people to report problems when they occur, including shop theft because whilst it is only one sort of crime, there are victims at the centre of it.

“Whether it’s a sole trader whose personal livelihood is affected or staff who have to confront offenders, shop theft isn’t a victimless crime.”

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