‘Stop That Sheep’ was originally setup in response to a spike in ewes and lambs being stolen across the county of Herefordshire before the pandemic. Now the operation is focused on the wider rural community and the issues they face.

The North Herefordshire Safer Neighbourhood Team led a multi-agency rural crime operation on Wednesday morning (October 4) to engage with and reassure rural communities.

Run in partnership with Herefordshire Council Animal Welfare Officers and Enforcement Teams, two vehicle check points were set up in the Bromyard area on Stourport Road and at Stoke Lacy Village Hall on Hereford Market Day.

Officers stopped around 30 agricultural and livestock transport, trade vans and drop side lorries so partner agencies could check for valid licences and the condition of the vehicles.

SNT officers supported by Roads Policing Officers checked vehicle and driver documentation, ensured the roadworthiness of vehicles, and confirmed the legitimate ownership of trailers being pulled and/or plant machinery being carried.

Animal welfare officers checked documentation for livestock on board and the suitability of vehicles being used to transport, whilst the enforcement teams looked at scrap and waste carriers and looked out for fly tipping offences.

Sgt Nicola Holgate of North Herefordshire SNT said:

“This operation was yet again successful as we managed to engage with the local, rural community and issue penalties to people who offended.

“October is Tyre Safety Month and we incorporated that into the operation and offered education and notices to rectify defects found”.

During the morning officers arrested one person on suspicion of driving whilst under the influence of drugs, one vehicle was seized, five vehicle prohibitions issued and four Vehicle Defect Rectification notices were served.