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Prime Minister David Cameron backs Thames Valley Police’s latest move to tackle rural crime

Prime Minister David Cameron has backed Thames Valley Police’s latest move to tackle rural crime after the police force became the first in the UK to introduce a marked all terrain utility vehicle into its fleet.

The new police vehicle, a high performance and rugged Kubota RTVX900, is designed to handle any terrain, even in the toughest of conditions. This means the police will now to able to get to remote and challenging rural areas that were previously difficult to access.

PM David Cameron, and the local MP for Witney, said: “I welcome this exciting launch which will see this vehicle used for the very first time by a British police force. In rural areas like my constituency, our forces face unique challenges and this vehicle will be a great asset to Thames Valley Police as they focus their attention on tackling rural crime.”

The economic impact of rural crime on local communities and the personal impact they can have on victims is a serious issue across the UK, not just in Oxfordshire. According to NFU Mutual, crime costs rural communities in the region of £44.5m each year.

Thames Valley Police do a lot of work to combat rural crime and approached Kubota, one of the world’s leading machinery manufacturers whose UK headquarters are in nearby Thame, to see if they could work in partnership together.

Superintendent Kath Lowe LPA Commander of Cherwell and West Oxon commented: “Crime in rural Oxfordshire can range from theft of agricultural and construction plant and machinery, to wildlife crimes like hare coursing and poaching, the theft of diesel and also staddle stones.

“A significant number of the crimes we are dealing with out of Carterton are rurally based. However, a serious issue for us has been getting to crime scenes because of how remote they are. Before now, our only vehicles at Carterton were Panda cars, which are fine on the road but don’t have the capabilities for tackling rough off road terrain!

“With this new Kubota RTVX900 in our fleet, we will now be able to reach a much higher percentage of rural crimes than ever before. This is going to help us to further improve the service we can provide our local community. Our goal is to ensure that all the communities we serve have the confidence that Thames Valley Police are working hard to prevent rural crime and that if they are affected, they can report it and appropriate action will be taken.”

Thames Valley Police’s new Kubota vehicle is completely unique in the policing industry. It’s the first time any UK police force has had a fully operational and marked all terrain vehicle in their fleet.

Colin Davies, Police Community Support Officer for Thames Valley Police, who is based out of the Carterton station, added “We are extremely proud of this pioneering partnership with Kubota. I’d like to think that based on our success with tackling rural crime, that Thames Valley Police will set the benchmark that other forces around the UK will follow.

“I would like to thank Kubota for not only providing the vehicle, but also taking our staff through practical and hands-on training so we can use the machine to the best of its ability.”

The Kubota RTVX900 is powered by a 21.6HP, 3-cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine, featuring an advanced hydraulic transmission to boost performance and durability.

Karen Tipping, Kubota UK’s Marketing Manager, concluded: “We know that from speaking to our customers in the farming industry that rural crime is a serious issue. Any measures that can help reduce these risks are therefore good news for these areas.

“With the new RTVX900, the West Oxfordshire rural community can rest assure that Thames Valley Police now have a vehicle that can tackle any terrain, whatever the conditions, meaning they will be better equipped at accessing remote and rural areas that they previously may have been more difficult to access. We hope that by providing them with this vehicle, it will increase confidence so people know the police can get to them when they need them.”

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