Funding package approved to fight crime in the countryside

For immediate release

29 July 2014

THE government has confirmed a two-year funding package for a newly created National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) operating across England and Wales [1].

Funding of almost £40,000 was announced by the Home Office on Monday (28 July).

It will be used to provide information and support for rural communities by encouraging direct interaction between businesses, organisations and the police.

The concept for a rural crime network was developed by the Rural Services Network (RSN), working alongside most of those PCCs serving rural communities [2].

The network brings together 28 Police and Crime Commissioners [3] – as well as their Police Forces – with other national rural stakeholder organisers [4].

RSN officer Nick Payne said: “This award is a fantastic boost for what has been universally seen as a vital and unique initiative.

"The costs of the project are very modest when set against the significant improvements in performance that will accrue on a national basis through the effective sharing of information and best practice.

"It’s good to receive this welcome official recognition so early in the life of the project.

“The Home Office’s grant will be put alongside individual funding pledges from each of the PCCs and commercial sponsorship kindly provided by NFU Mutual."

The funding will secure the network’s operation for the first two years, said Mr Payne.

From year three, it is anticipated that the network would become fully self-funding through member subscriptions and sponsorship, added Mr Payne.

Funding will be used by the network to encourage rural communities to participate in local crime prevention initiatives.

It will also be used to help network members share best practice when it comes to detecting, preventing and deterring rural crime across England and Wales.


Media contact:

Nick Payne
Rural Services Network
T: 01822 813693


1. Endorsed by 28 of the UK's Police and Crime Commissioners, the objectives of the National Rural Crime Network are:

• Act as a multi-agency think tank on rural crime strategy.

• Encourage and support the activities of those involved in making rural communities across England and Wales become and feel safer.

• Provide information and support for rural communities by promoting and facilitating the sharing of good practice.

• Develop and target good publicity to encourage stronger local response from the public in relation to reducing crime in rural communities.

• Encourage regional fora and facilitate a national forum for discussions between relevant rural partners and appropriate national organisations and watch groups on rural crime issues.

• Act as a forum to consider effective Community Safety Initiatives across rural areas.

2. The Rural Services Network is a group of more than 200 organisations working together to improve the delivery of rural services across England. The two operating arms of the network are the Sparsity Partnership for Authorities Delivering Rural Services (SPARSE) and the Rural Services Partnership. Further information and a full list of members are available at

3. The 28 Police and Crime Commissioners supporting the network are:- Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Durham, Dyfed-Powys, Essex, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Thames Valley, Warwickshire, West Mercia, Wiltshire.

4. In addition to Police and Crime Commissioners, other participating organisations include the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Association, Neighbourhood Watch, Crimestoppers, NFU Mutual and Farmers Weekly magazine, among others. The NRCN is also supported by leading academics and the National Community Safety Network.

5. The Rural Services Network seeks to establish best practice across the spectrum of rural service provision. The network has representation across the complete range of rural services, including local authorities, public bodies, businesses, charities and voluntary groups. We are devoted to safeguarding and improving services in rural communities across England. We are the only national network specifically focusing on this vital aspect of rural life.

6. The Rural Services Network exists to ensure services delivered to the communities of predominantly and significantly rural England are as strong and as effective as possible. The term 'predominately rural' refers to counties and Local Authority districts with at least 50 percent of their population living in rural settlements (ie. rural towns, villages, hamlets and dispersed dwellings) as identified in the Office for National Statistics' rural definition, and including larger market towns as identified in the Defra classification of Local Authority districts. The term 'significant rural' refers to those Local Authorities who are between 25% and 50% rural under the same classification. The rural definition and classification were devised by the Rural Evidence Research Centre (RERC) at Birkbeck College. Further information on these can be found on the RERC website at


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