Saturday, 09 May 2015 07:58

Rural crime falls in Avon and Somerset

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural crime falls in Avon and Somerset

RURAL crime has fallen by 16% across the Avon and Somerset area, suggest new statistics.

Some 187 rural crimes were recorded in the three months to 30 April 2015. This compares to 223 rural crimes for the same period last year.

Across all the rural beats within Avon and Somerset, in those same periods there was a 5.4% reduction of recorded crime; from 6,663 to 6,301 offences.

Sergeant Stuart Williams of the Rural Crime Team said: "Naturally we're very pleased about these figures, but we can't be complacent whilst there are new victims and new offences every day.

"Nationally and regionally there is plenty of determination and energy going into fighting rural crime which means that sharing resources and ideas is better than it ever has been."

The force has been using a new method to assess the impact of rural crime since February 2014.

It has been recording the number of offences against businesses or properties which rely on the land for a living.

Initiatives used by Avon and Somerset to tackle rural crime have been the Horse and Farm Watch schemes, operations against burglaries and the training of even more officers and PCSOs in countryside crimes such as poaching.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset is a member of the National Rural Crime Network of about 20 police forces. Locally, the force is a member of a regional group as well as organising a crime forum.

Members include the Exmoor National Park Authority, NFU, South West Business Forum, Environment Agency, the Country Landowners' Association and Trading Standards officers.

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