Commissioner announces more resources to tackle crime in rural communities
July 20th, 2021
CAMBRIDGESHIRE Countryside Watch (CCW) is stepping up efforts to prevent crime in rural communities thanks to a funding boost from the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston.
The group, which has a mix of paid staff and volunteers, will be working in partnership with the force’s Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) who will be welcoming an extra four staff in the coming months.
These two additional Police Officers and two Special Constables will bolster the RCAT to enable them to better respond to information passed to them from CCW.
“Countryside Watch are central to the fight against crime in rural communities,” said Darryl, “because of their information criminals have been disrupted, arrested and prosecuted along with stolen property being returned. The additional £25,000 I have awarded to them will enable them to play a greater role in preventing people becoming victims in the first place. Where members of the community do become victims they will ensure they are helped to access support services.”
Will Mumford, Chair of Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch, thanked the Commissioner for the opportunity. “This will enable us to put into action many new initiatives to reduce crime and improve the feeling of security and wellbeing in our countryside,” he said. “The impact of crime strains rural business to the limit and, unfortunately, sometimes beyond, creating huge anxiety in an already isolated section of our community. The help they need is often scarcer, further away and harder to reach and we aim to change that.”
Over 90% of the county’s land is classified as rural.
Darryl added: “There is no silver bullet in tackling any type of crime but clearly the combination of these extra resources can only be a positive move. Just last month I met with National Farmers’ Union (NFU) members who were full of praise for the RCAT. The expertise within the team in combatting rural crime cannot be overstated.”
The Commissioner has featured rural crime as an early priority area within his Police and Crime Plan which is currently out to public survey.
“The priorities presented in my current survey are by no means final,” Darryl said. “I want to know what matters most to those living and working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Feedback received will help inform the content of the full Plan and detailed priorities as it is developed.”
A link to the survey which closes on 30th July can be found here: www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk
Anyone wishing to share their views by telephone or email can do so by calling the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 0300 333 3456 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.