The first All-Terrain Policing Vehicle in Devon and Cornwall is taking to the hills of Bodmin Moor, to enhance policing in the area and protect its community and livestock.
Managed by the Bodmin Moor Rural Crime Initiative and made possible with support from partners including Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Police officers and volunteers will be using the vehicle to patrol Cornwall’s landmark countryside area of over 80 square miles.
The Bodmin Moor Rural Crime Initiative is a partnership that includes representatives from agencies and groups such as the Association of Bodmin Moor Landowners and Bodmin Moor Commons Council, alongside numerous partners, such as, Natural England, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service and Forestry England.
The 4-wheel drive Kubota RTV is marked in police livery, with emergency lighting and siren installed and will also be equipped with binoculars and a thermal imager so Devon & Cornwall Police can locate evidence, people, and livestock in the dark across the countryside.
The ATV was funded by Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Saputo Dairy UK, Vision Zero, Citizens in Policing, and Devon & Cornwall Police. Additional advice and support for the project came from Vincent Tractors, Data Tag, ATVTrac and Hamblys.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Rural crime is a concern for many across our force area and can have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of those living and working in isolated communities, as well as on the precious habitats of our local wildlife.
“By their very nature remote areas such as Bodmin Moor can be challenging to police, and so I am pleased to help fund this all-terrain vehicle which will prove a vital tool in keeping rural communities safe from criminal activity, as well as helping to safeguard livestock and wildlife, and ensure the land is protected for the lawful use and enjoyment of everyone.
“Not only is this ATV an innovative resource for rural crime prevention, but technology including thermal imaging and the ability to navigate challenging terrain in harsh conditions will also prove invaluable in the search for people missing on the moor, and could make all the difference in saving someone’s life.”
Devon & Cornwall Police’s Rural Affairs Officer, PC Chris Collins said: “We responded to an increasing number of incidents on Bodmin Moor during the past few years, which included unlawful encampments, antisocial behaviour and unlicensed music events.
“In response, we looked for ways to enhance our community policing of the area, we often overlook the fact that Bodmin Moor is mostly privately owned and managed, with many areas of common grazing land used for farming and livestock, it is covered with designations such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and access land and can be vulnerable to interference from unauthorised activity.
“Inspired by conversations at the Royal Cornwall Show and advice from partners we’ve chosen this vehicle for its durability and its ability to access the most challenging parts of the countryside in all weather conditions.
“This ATV will enable us to see and be seen by communities in villages and hamlets across the moor to support our communities no matter the weather or state of terrain. We can remind people of the need to respect the countryside, livestock and communities in challenging situations where off road access may be the answer to life or death for an animal or person exploring the moor.”
Devon & Cornwall Police are hosting a community drop-in event on Bodmin Moor at the shop in Blisland on 16 February. The event is free to attend, and you can view the vehicle and speak to one of the force’s team members about the police’s work in the area or any concerns you may have.