Friday, 28 October 2016 23:45

Police commissioners step up rural crime fight

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Police commissioners step up rural crime fight

FOUR police and crime commissioners have come together to step up the fight against rural crime.

The four commissioners – from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire – signed a Rural Crime Concordat, pledging to work across county borders to tackle the crime issues affecting rural communities.

The signing of the concordat took place at a rural crime summit hosted by Norfolk commissioner Lorne Green to give the county's rural communities the chance to have their say on the county's proposed new rural policing strategy.

"People here in Norfolk told me about their crime and policing concerns and what they felt they needed from the police to feel safer living or working in their local area," he said.

"I pledged to take up their concerns and drive forward Norfolk's approach to tackling rural crime."

"Representatives of Norfolk's rural communities have today had the chance to find out what more our police will be doing to address their concerns about police visibility, to tackle feelings of isolation, help them feel more engaged with their police service, and encourage the reporting of rural crime.

"But the rural crime issues affecting our county are by no means unique to Norfolk. Criminals do not respect county boundaries, and that is why, as eastern region PCCs, we are pledging to join forces, work across borders and be united in our commitment to fighting rural crime.

"As members of the National Rural Crime Network, which champions a better understanding of crime in rural areas, we're also delighted that the Network Chair and North Yorkshire PCC, Julia Mulligan, was able to join us at today's summit."

Cambridgeshire commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: "Rural Crime continues to be a big problem across the region, threatening local livelihoods, putting pressure on policing resources and increasing the fear of crime within our rural communities.

"Figures from rural insurer NFU Mutual show Cambridgeshire was the fourth highest county for rural thefts last year. It's more important than ever that we work together to continue to address this threat."

Lincolnshire commissioner Marc Jones said the cocordat was a "clear signal to would be criminals that the combined will and resources of our forces will be brought to bear to protect our rural communities.

"Historic borders will not afford them any protection," said Mr Jones.

"Our collective endeavours will tackle issues such as hare coursing that plague our beautiful countryside and, by this commitment together, we are being clear about our objective to meet these challenges head on in to the future."

Suffolk commissioner Tim Passmore said Suffolk was a safe place but a large rural county and this brought its own challenges.

"Rural areas typically tend to be safer, but I do believe that the impact of crime can be greater on victims in isolated rural locations, making them feel more vulnerable.

"I fully support Lorne's new Rural Policing Strategy and his invitation for neighbouring PCC's to work with him to ensure we give our rural communities the focus and attention they deserve."

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