A POLICE team dedicated to serving North Yorkshire’s rural communities is celebrating its first anniversary – and its 101st arrest.

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce was established in April last year to tackle crime issues specific to rural areas.

The police decided to act after the 2015 National Rural Crime Survey discovered that rural communities were not only living in fear of crime being committed against them, but that they were under-reporting crime by up to a third.

The Rural Taskforce team is made up of an inspector, sergeant, seven police constables and seven PCSOs based across the districts of the county.

In addition, there is also an intelligence analyst and a rural policing coordinator and in its first year, Taskforce officers made 101 arrests, reported 71 people for summons and seized 39 vehicles.

Inspector Jon Grainge leads the Taskforce and said: “The team have had a very busy – and very productive – first year of operation.

“Crucial to our success is working with the community, talking to local residents and businesses, understanding the issues that affect them and offering advice wherever possible.

“There have been thousands of conversations over our first year and this year we’ll have thousands more.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, thanked the officers for their all hard work.

She added: “The feedback from the public is clear – the Rural Taskforce has made a positive difference.”