Tuesday, 17 November 2015 14:20

Technology 'will boost rural policing'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Technology 'will boost rural policing'

NEW mobile technology will boost police visibility in rural communities, says a police and crime commissioner.

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, was guest speaker at the county's National Farmers' Union AGM in Lichfield.

He outlined the challenges faced and progress made in policing in Staffordshire - including the roll-out of new smartphone and tablet technology to all officers and PCSOs.

Mr Ellis said: "Visibility of policing in rural communities is really important."

Over the next 12 months, police visibility would rise because of the ongoing roll-out of new technology to all officers, he added.

"It's about getting police officers out of stations and back into communities."

Technology such as tablets meant officers no longer had to be stuck behind a desk.

"When fully bedded in, this technology will help free up an extra 250,000 hours of police time to be out on the beat a year which is the equivalent of an extra 100 officers on duty."

Work to tackle business crime in the countryside and elsewhere was also a key priority, said Mr Ellis, who has also addressed other communities on the issue.

Progress made by Staffordshire Police in tackling incidents in the countryside had seen rural crime fall by over 50% in 2015, he claimed.

Rural crime cost businesses in Staffordshire almost £30,000 in the first ten months of this year.

Concerted efforts were being made to tackle rural crimes such as quad bike thefts and deer poaching, said Mr Ellis.

"It was fantastic to talk to local farmers at their AGM, to answer their questions and debate the issues that matter to them."

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