A former Dacorum neighbourhood cop has been appointed as sergeant for Hertfordshire’s Rural Operational Support Team (ROST).
Ryan Hemmings took over the role earlier this month, replacing Jamie Bartlett who retired at the end of last year.
“It’s a role I’ve been interested in for many years,” said Ryan.
“For the last two years I have been the neighbourhood sergeant for Berkhamsted and Tring, previously working as an SNT Sergeant in Hemel Hempstead and Rickmansworth, so I’ve always considered myself more of a rural officer.
“I’ve also worked closely with the rural team over the years, so it felt like a natural transition.”
ROST is the Constabulary’s specialist team which focuses on rural and agricultural issues, wildlife crime and heritage crime.
They support local safer neighbourhood teams and response officers, providing advice on subjects such as badger bating, hare coursing and crimes impacting on the county’s heritage – including the theft of lead from churches.
The team also provides training on rural matters for new recruits and regularly hosts two-day rural awareness courses for any colleagues looking to improve their knowledge.
Ryan has already identified a number of areas of focus for the coming months, including community engagement.
“There is often the perception that policing is more town centre focused and that rural communities feel isolated and left behind,” said Ryan.
“I want to make sure we’re engaging with these people, to reassure them that we understand the issues they face and are committed to supporting them as much as their urban counterparts.
“Partnership working is key to this and I am looking forward to continuing to build on our strong links with agencies such as the National Famers’ Union and the Country Land and Business Association. We’ll also regularly be attending ‘Barn Meet’ events across the county, to engage with local residents and farmers. ”
Moving forward, the ROST will be looking to increase their proactive work across the county and get more involved with operations such as Op Galileo, the national response to target hare coursing.
If you have any concerns about rural crime you can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via their online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.
If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.