PCC hails improvements in policing rural areas

840- Rutland meeting with farmers and the Rural Crime Team

PCC Rupert Matthews has been out visiting the Rural Policing Team, parish councils, Community Safety Partnerships and rural areas to celebrate the drop of around 10% in rural crime (y/e Jan 24) and see how the different organisations are working together to deliver further improvements.

He has paid numerous visits to rural areas across Leicestershire and Rutland to see for himself how people in rural communities feel about policing.  

“I try to spend at least one day a week in local communities, talking to people,” said Mr Matthews.  “When I was first elected it was clear that rural communities wanted a dedicated policing resource and a more visible policing presence.

“That is why I made rural policing a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan which sets the overall strategy for policing and community safety across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  The subsequent introduction of a dedicated rural policing team has been warmly welcomed, particularly by farmers and other agricultural businesses. 

“The rural crime strategy has proved effective too. In the first 12 months the team recovered over £1m of stolen agricultural equipment, confirming the need for a specific team.  Recent figures showed that rural crime has reduced by around 10% in the last twelve months.  It’s good progress and many people I spoke to this week commented that their views on policing were more positive.

“Rural crime is different.  People I spoke to this week were talking of hare coursing, fly-tipping, sheep worrying and other crimes that only affect rural areas.  It is clear that there is a determination across the board to protect rural communities.

“Anecdotally, I’ve also been told that the police are seen more often in rural areas now, which is improving confidence in the local policing service.  The increase in officer numbers will have helped deliver this.

“But there is always more to be done.  It was clear to me that rural villages remain concerned about road safety and speeding.  I will be raising the issue again with the local policing teams and the road safety team to see what more can be done to encourage people to drive with the speed limits and understand road conditions. One bad accident is one too many.

“Satisfaction with the police in these areas was high.  I was delighted to hear praise for the local policing teams in each location I visited.”

The Rural Policing Team, funded via the PCC’s budget, is made up of officers with a background in farming and a determination to tackle issues which disproportionately affect Leicestershire and Rutland’s rural and farming communities including machinery theft, wildlife and heritage crime. They are supported by the force’s 18 wildlife officers, heritage watch volunteers and those neighbourhood officers on rural beats.



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Sallie Blair
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Posted on Thursday 21st March 2024
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