Caravan owner 'over the moon' as off-duty Northamptonshire copper answers call to beat thief

Tracking systems used to locate stolen vehicle over the border in Cambridgeshire

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 12:19 pm

An off-duty copper helped recover a caravan stolen from the Northamptonshire countryside — even before it made it onto the police books.

Rural Crime Officer, PC Hutch Hutchings, was at home when he took a call from a contact telling him that a caravan fitted with a tracking system was on the move.

The officer located the stolen caravan using the Force's own systems and guided colleagues from Cambridgeshire Police to find it in Wisbech.

Rural Crime Officer PC Hutch Hutchings

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: "There was no one inside, unfortunately, but the caravan could be returned to the rightful owner who was over the moon!

"It just shows the importance of investing in the right technology to assist."

Chief Constable Nick Adderley doubled the size of Northamtponshire's Rural Crime Team last year, equipping it with high-tech equipment including Interceptor vehicles, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and thermal imaging drones.

Inspector Chris Thomas said: “Rural communities can often feel overlooked when it comes to policing.

The Rural Crime Team is equipped with high-tech drones and tracking systems

"So I hope the we can reassure people that their livelihoods and their safety is just as important to us as other areas of the county.

"The type of crime we look to deal with includes burglary, theft — particularly of agricultural vehicles and machinery and red diesel — and animal offences such as poaching and hare coarsing.

“The farmers we have spoken to are really pleased to see the investment we have made and it’s been heartening to hear how much they want to work with us to tackle rural crime.

“Enforcement activity will be by way of specific day-time and night-time operations and we will be utilising every form of technology to both tackle and prevent crime.

“We would ask people to continue to contact us when they see anything they think is suspicious so we can be on the front foot and bring those who threaten the livelihoods of our farmers and rural communities to justice.”