POLICE have hailed an operation to target rural crime.

Special Constables in Dorset joined forces with colleagues in Hampshire and Wiltshire for a cross-border operation to prevent and detect rural crime.

More than 200 people and vehicle checks were conducted, and three known offenders were stopped from entering private land.

Special Sergeant Ben Muspratt, of Dorset Police, said: “Building on the success of the first Operation Seashell held in April 2014 along with Wiltshire Police, I set about swiftly planning the second to include Hampshire Constabulary also.

“It is very clear that this high visibility operation has had a positive impact on the community.

“It has demonstrated to residents that all three forces are committed to tackling rural crime.

“The Special Constabulary is keen to help tackle rural crime and we plan to carry out a similar operation later this year.”

He added: “Special Constables are unpaid volunteer police officers who have the same powers of arrest and wear the same uniform as regular officers.

“Dorset Police are currently recruiting Special Constables and I would encourage anyone interested in serving their community to look at our website for more information on this unique voluntary role.”