A drone has been used by a new taskforce tackling rural crime to stop the suspected theft of a plant machine worth hundreds of thousands.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) launched a Rural Crime Taskforce in March.

More than £400,000 worth of trailers, caravans and other equipment have been recovered by the team.

They have also been proactively working with the force’s forensic investigation unit to address rises in thefts from farms of GPS units within tractor satellite navigation systems.

And the taskforce is supporting investigations into rural issues such as hare coursing. 

The taskforce is also working with TVP’s economic crime unit to investigate the proceeds of crime, looking at money laundering and links between rural and organised crime.

TVP West Oxfordshire tweeted that the team is working alongside them this week and a drone was invaluable in preventing a potential theft of a piece of farm machinery worth £250,000.