Police officers in the Cotswolds have been given specialist off-road vehicle training as part of efforts to tackle crime in hard to reach rural areas.
Seven officers have recently been trained up and additional off-road vehicles will be added to the police fleet in the coming weeks, allowing each rural area to have their own dedicated vehicle.
Gloucestershire Constabulary currently has a number of rural crime officers who have access to a fleet of Polaris Ranger off road buggies and Suzuki King Quad 4x4s that are used when responding to incidents or taking part in patrols.
The vehicles are used in a variety of ways such as searches for high risk missing people, responding to 999 calls and have recently been used for conducting open space patrols during the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been a number of positive outcomes following incidents involving the off-road vehicles and in April officers located five missing people after being able to search more secluded areas.
The force has confirmed that areas in the North Cotswolds such as around Chipping Campden and Shipston will benefit from the officer training and new vehicles.
Inspector Simon Ellson from the Cotswolds Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Gloucestershire Constabulary is committed to delivering an excellent policing service to all our communities.
“The extra trained officers and new off-road vehicles will assist us in providing this service to rural and hard to reach communities.
“We have dedicated rural and wildlife crime officers in all rural areas of the county and this will allow us to build on the considerable work we have already undertaken in this area.”