MORE police are patrolling the countryside following a spate of farm thefts
Rural crime in the Meon Valley area is down following the extra uniformed patrols and covert patrols.
The area’s MP George Hollingbery called on police action after hundreds of pounds worth of hay and heating oil thefts each week.
Five extra officers have been drafted into Bishop’s Waltham police station to improve response times to incidents in the rural areas around the town.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Hampshire police are taking the issue seriously and want to tackle the problem even though there is pressure on police budgets.
‘Clearly more officers on patrol and better co-operation between residents, local organisations and the police is the best way to beat the burglars and thieves. I’m also delighted that the response seems to be looking to the long term with a review of rural policing, in addition to the extra officers.
Chief Inspector Steven Baxter said he wanted he wanted to stop rural crime happening and added: ‘I am keen to ensure that the rural community does not feel ostracised and I will continue to deploy as much policing presence there as is possible.’