New equipment helps crack down on illegal activity on Salisbury Plain
Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) staff on Salisbury Plain have been issued with newly branded vehicles in a bid to crackdown on the number of illegal incursions taking place on the training area.
The marked 4x4 vehicles will be used later this month during Operation Aston, a joint operation run by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Wiltshire Police and the Royal Military Police to help educate people about the impact their actions have on the Plain and to deter them from taking part in illegal, dangerous and damaging activity.
The vehicles form part of an ongoing project to reduce the number of illegal incursions taking place on the Plain, and to ensure that it remains a safe place for the military to train and for those wanting to use it for legal leisure and recreational activities.
The newly branded vehicles have also been introduced to make staff more visible and prominent and to standardise vehicle livery across the MOD estate.
The fleet, which includes both new vehicles and rebranded older vehicles, will rationalise vehicles and as a result will save the MOD thousands of pounds.
Lt Col Stewart Andrews, the DIO’s Senior Training Safety Officer for Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), said:
The impact that illegal incursions have on the training estate is huge. Not only does it cause environmental damage, but it can disrupt planned military training activities which can impact on the MOD’s operational capability and readiness.
We take our responsibility for public safety seriously and we want people to enjoy the Plain, but it can be a dangerous place if you don’t follow the rules.
We’re hoping that the newly branded vehicles will stand out on the Plain and act as a deterrent, helping us in our attempts to better monitor activity on the Plain and educate people about what they can and can’t do.
In addition to the new vehicles, DIO staff on Salisbury Plain have also been issued with new hi-vis vests and body cameras. The cameras have been issued to deter aggression against staff and to record illegal activity, making it easier to identify repeat offenders and provide evidence for prosecutions.