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POLICE have been flying drones in Basildon, in an effort to catch fly-tippers red-handed.
Essex Police teamed up with Basildon Council last week as part of a crackdown on rural crime.
Officers flew drones over the Runwell area in Wickford to help ‘gather evidence’ of illegal rubbish dumping.
During the operation, they also recovered a trailer which had been dumped on a wasteland and are now hoping to reunite it with its owner.
Wickford councillor David Harrison, lead councillor for public spaces, said he was ‘happy’ to be working alongside Essex Police to unmask fly-tippers and ‘hold them to account’.
He said: “We want fly-tippers to know that they aren’t welcome in Essex.”
The operation was only one of several across the county, as part of a week of action against rural crime. Essex Police teamed up with colleagues from Suffolk and Cambridge, calling the clampdown ‘Operation Galileo’.
Officers responded to six hare-coursing incidents in a single day – the illegal hunting of hares with dogs.
The team seized a dog and a vehicle that were being used for the illegal activity.
They also recorded 14 alleged driving offences during a road policing operation in the Dengie and Uttlesford areas.
Chief Inspector Terry Balding, of the rural engagement team, said: “This was a really positive week of action and we’ve seen fantastic support from our partners, the wider rural and farming communities.
“The rural community in Essex is a large part of our county and by having a team dedicated to these areas we were able to work with the community to focus on the issues most concerning to them.”