Renewed police powers for Dartmoor rangers

From Devon & Cornwall Police website:

Devon & Cornwall Police have renewed police powers granted to rangers on Dartmoor for another three years to allow them to continue to support efforts to increase community safety in the area and reduce anti-social behaviour and other low-level crime.

The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) has been running since 2015 on Dartmoor and gives rangers powers to stop and direct traffic, but also strengthens the partnership working between the police and the rangers and sharing of intelligence and information, helping them to deal with a wide range of issues.

Since being accredited through the scheme the rangers have undertaken a number of joint operations with Devon & Cornwall Police and other agencies targeting speeding, vehicle break ins, red diesel testing, vehicle tax/insurance, off-road driving plus general awareness and advice. The rangers have also engaged practical police support to deal with illegal encampments and fires, joining special constables on joint patrols, and supervising road closures during adverse weather conditions.

Driving behaviour and parking can sometimes cause issues at some moorland beauty spots and now rangers have the authority to challenge drivers and take names and details if they do not comply with the traffic direction of a CSAS accredited person; motorists who refuse would be committing an offence.

To use these powers, accredited rangers must be on duty in full uniform, displaying a CSAS patch on their uniform and possess a power card and police issued ID.

Partnership Superintendent Jim Gale said: “The scheme reinforces our commitment to work in partnership with local organisations to provide a safer community and improve the quality of life in Devon and Cornwall, allowing these organisations to be recognised as part of the extended policing family. They are not a replacement for our neighbourhood policing team, but work in partnership to complement each other’s work.”

Rob Steemson, Community & Landscape Management Ranger said: “The DNPA Ranger Service is pleased to be a part of this partnership to help make Dartmoor National Park a safer place for our residents and those that visit.

“Our role in dealing with the many aspects of anti-social behaviour experienced in the National Park, such as littering, vehicle brake-ins, irresponsible driving and illegal camping is enhanced through this joint working.

“Although much of this work is tackling what is termed low-level crime, it nonetheless has a considerable impact on communities, visitors and the fragile Dartmoor environment. We look forward to another successful three years.”

CSAS Manager Becki Brodest added: “There are a number of benefits of the scheme including reassurance to members of the community of the training and vetting completed by the rangers.

“It also allows better communication and improved relationships between the police and partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour and other low-level crime and disorder, which impacts significantly upon communities across Devon and Cornwall.

“The accreditation of limited but targeted powers allows those accredited to be more effective in the role they already undertake, but more importantly assists with ensuring safer communities for all to live, work and visit.”

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