A powerful fleet of off-road vehicles is being rolled out across Lancashire to help police tackle rural crime.
Three liveried 4x4 pick-up trucks have been delivered to officers serving Lancashire’s rural areas in a bid to crack down on poaching, fuel thefts and organised crime.
One vehicle has been allocated to each of the East, West and South divisions, and will allow officers even better access to rough terrain than in traditional police vehicles.
There is also a trailer to be used at community events to raise the profile of rural policing.
Sgt Julian Platt, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Tactical Operations Unit, says: “Two thirds of Lancashire is rural. We want to make sure we are extending our reach into those communities.
“We have officers based there but we will now have access to the far corners of Lancashire.”
Officers will use the Ford Rangers to investigate crimes and offer reassurance when offences take place at remote locations.
The vehicles were welcomed by Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Andy Rhodes.
He says: “This investment to support our teams and the communities that work within the rural areas of Lancashire sends out a real message than Lancashire Constabulary is determined to do its best to serve and reassure all the people who live, work and visit Lancashire.
“We are here to protect them.
“These teams get involved in a whole range of policing activity, from tackling organised crime through to engagement events with young people and the general public.
“They are an invaluable part of the policing effort.”
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, says: "I'm pleased that these vehicles will provide a visible presence which highlights the work that officers are doing across our rural areas. "Rural crime can have a huge impact on victims and I continue to fully support the work Lancashire Constabulary is doing to help build safer rural communities.
"Protecting our rural communities is as much a priority for me as it is policing our more urban towns and cities."