Commissioner urges residents to influence the future of rural policing in national poll
May 20th, 2015
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright today welcomed the launch of the largest-ever survey into rural crime and antisocial behaviour.
The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), of which Cambridgeshire is a member, is consulting thousands of rural residents and workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland about community policing, the impact crime and ASB has on their lives and how the response to rural crime could be improved.
The survey is open to anyone living or working in a rural area regardless of whether or not they have been a victim of rural crime and is designed to increase understanding of the fear of crime in rural areas, the emotional and financial cost of rural crime on individuals and communities and how effective police are in responding to local issues.
The Network is keen to focus on rural crime as a whole – not just farm-related issues such as fuel theft and sheep rustling which are only a small part of the problem. The survey aims to build a picture of crime in remote areas of the country as well as market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.
Commenting on the survey launch, Sir Graham said: “I’m very enthusiastic about the launch of this survey which will bring unprecedented attention to the plight of rural residents and businesses in the face of crime.
“Cambridgeshire remains a very safe place to live but we are not immune to the problems affecting other rural counties and there are very specific rural safety challenges that need to be addressed. It is vital we understand how we can make rural communities feel safer and what is needed to deliver a better service. This survey is a significant step in achieving this.”
Sir Graham continued: “In the face of continued austerity cuts, it’s important we allocate our scarce resources effectively to maintain visibility and provide resilience against rural crime threats. I urge our own rural population to take part in this survey and help shape the future response to rural safety.”
The survey, which is being supported by the Home Office, aims to build a body of information to improve national awareness of crime in rural areas as well as provide a clearer picture of attitudes towards crime to help inform government and local policy.
The findings will be important to ensure the human costs of rural crime including the psychological impact is taken into account and police funding is spent where it is most needed.
Chair of the NRCN, Julia Mulligan, who is also North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The full scale of crime in rural areas has never before been assessed. Whilst official figures show rural crime, like crime in general, is decreasing, we are concerned about the wider implications on people and communities.
“The fear of crime can be as detrimental to people’s wellbeing as crimes themselves, so we are keen to find out more through this survey. Our aim is to build a clear picture of the issue to shape future delivery of services locally and nationally. By completing the survey, people can really have their say on how crime affects them and what they expect from local police and their partners involved in community safety.”
The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) is supported by 29 Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces across England and Wales. The Network, established in July 2014, includes a wide range of organisations with an interest in community safety and rural affairs such as the National Farmers Union, Historic England, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.
The survey will be open until Wednesday 24 June. To complete the survey, visit http://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/survey?member=Cambridgeshire.
For more information on the NRCN visit: www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net.