Rural crime is set to be more intensely targeted following a national conference hosted by Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Clive Loader.
At their first Rural Crime Conference at Leicestershire Police Headquarters, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) agreed to investigate a number of crime-beating campaigns aimed at reducing wildlife and rural criminal activity.
Welcoming the Commissioners along with delegates from organisations that included the National Farmers’ Union, Crimestoppers and insurance companies, Sir Clive spoke of how pleased he was to see so many people from across the country, all of whom had an interest in seeing rural communities becoming crime free.
He told the conference that rural crime had distinct characteristics but was just as important as urban crime. “While I understand that police officers have to be deployed where there is most demand I also understand that rural communities often feel neglected,” he said.
This, he added, was “an imbalance that I am determined to rectify.”
“When people talk about crime in our area, and I’m sure many others, they tend to focus on the densely populated urban areas. Large swathes of our police force area are rural and the residents who live there have just the same right to the police service as those who live in a town or city.”
Sir Clive and his fellow Commissioners discussed key points and issues aimed at reducing the vulnerability of rural communities to crime. Steps considered included the benefits of intelligence-sharing, encouraging people to report crime, setting up a national rural crime network and the sharing of information through ‘Watch’ schemes.
There was general agreement that there were many opportunities for the greater use of Special Constables and volunteers in rural areas and the need to attract Specials to rural areas, where they are known and part of the community.
Delegates also agreed on the importance of developing working partnerships with rural communities and rural interest groups in order to increase their trust and confidence in policing.
Sir Clive concluded: “I believe that as a result of today’s conference we are a few steps closer to seeing rural communities having an equal voice when it comes to policing and community safety. We will work together, we will look at the special needs of rural areas and above all we will be innovative in our approach. It was clear that we all took rural crime very seriously, now we need to deliver.”
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Posted on Monday 9th May 2016