POLICE officers are driving down crime in rural areas across North Hampshire as part of a new sting.

Teams from the rural Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT), from the Basingstoke policing district, are out in force this tomorrow evening (Friday, 8 February) as part of a drive to tackle anti-social behaviour, burglary and other related offences.

A number of marked police vehicles will travel in convoy to town centres across the district, including Whitchurch and Overton, and officers will mount proactive patrols, conduct vehicle stop-checks and engage with local communities.

Officers and PCSOs from Whitchurch and Tadley police stations, Countrywatch officers and Community Safety Patrol Officers (CSPOs) from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council will be involved in the operation.

Rural SNT Inspector Darren Rawlings said: “Feedback received from members of the rural community has shaped the way this operation is being run and it has been planned around common community priorities, such as tackling anti-social behaviour and using high-visibility patrols to help prevent burglaries and theft of valuable plant equipment.

“I want to make the rural area of Basingstoke a hostile place to commit crime. My team is committed to relentlessly pursing offenders and bringing them to justice.”

Pc Rich Baldwin, beat officer for Overton, said: “Officers will also be available for members of the public to speak to and discuss and concerns they may have so I would encourage people to come out and talk to us.”

To speak to your local SNT officer, call 101.