Please Respect Your Countryside, Kirklees Rural NPT Urge

Monday 3 August 2020

Police in Kirklees are launching a late summer campaign to encourage residents to respect some of the District’s most scenic locations following a surge in countryside crime and anti social behaviour.

The Kirklees Rural NPT are encouraging residents to report criminal behaviour in woodland areas after noting an increase in offences including criminal damage, anti social behaviour and anti -social off road riding in nature spots.

Kirklees Police off road officers are now conducting mounted patrols in hotspot areas  while Kirklees Rural NPT officers will be engaging with residents day to day to on the streets in Holmfirth and elsewhere in the rural area to raise awareness of the issue.

They will also be distributing a new leaflet warning of the increased offending and the consequences of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.

Beauty spots affected have included in the wooded area between Lamb Hall Road and Outlane Golf Course in Longwood, where paths have been damaged by off road bikes, and officers have found damage to stone walls which have been pulled down to make bike ramps.

It has been noted that in some cases, these makeshift ramps have filled in the entrances to badger sets, affecting the animals which are protected under law.

Fencing has also been removed in parts to allow access to fields but also creating clear issues for farmers using the areas for livestock.

Inspector Vanessa Briggs of the Kirklees Rural NPT, said: “The Kirklees Rural area has some truly wonderful scenery and plenty of beauty spots for residents to get out and enjoy on socially distanced walks and days out.

“While the majority of people clearly make the most of what these locations have to offer in the right way we have sadly seen a notable increase in anti-social behaviour and related offending in these places as their popularity has increased.

“Our off road colleagues have increased patrols and our officers will be active in communities to make residents aware of what has been taking place and encourage them to report anti-social or illegal activity.”

She added: “We always urge anyone who spends time in our wooded areas to follow the Countryside Code https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code and enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.

“Please also continue to be aware of continuing Coronavirus restrictions on gatherings and be mindful of the latest advice from Public Health England

“If you do witnesses crime or anti social behaviour in our area, please contact the Kirklees Rural NPT on 101 or make a report online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat

“Incidents or intelligence about persons involved in carrying out countryside crime can also be reported anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

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