Farm targeted in fuel laundering investigation

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TWO men have been arrested following a raid on a farm, carried out as part of a crackdown on rural crime.

Officers from a special target team executed a theft warrant at a farm and adjacent land in Long Lane, Quernmore, at around 10am last Wednesday.

Officers from the Environment Agency and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs also attended.

A suspected stolen trailer and evidence of a suspected fuel laundering operation were discovered at the site. Police are continuing their search of the immediate area.

A 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer, theft and theft of a motor vehicle. A 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft.

The raid followed an investigation into fuel and metal thefts in the area and was carried out as part of Operation Firecrest – a county-wide operation to combat rural crime.

Det Insp Martin Pearson, Lancaster Police, said: “We often find that the most common type of offences in our rural communities are fuel and scrap metal theft, as well as theft of agricultural machinery.

“Criminals can be under the mistaken impression that because they are operating in rural areas, they are less likely to be caught. But this is not the case.

“We work closely with local communities and, as well as carrying out regular patrols and operating schemes such as FarmWatch, we encourage residents to report suspicious activity to us. These close links allow us to tackle crime together.”

Anyone with information about crime in rural areas is asked to contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.