National Rural Crime Network will help tackle rural crime more effectively in England and Wales
A new National Rural Crime Network, to help tackle rural crime more effectively in England and Wales, has received the support of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens.
PCC Sue Mountstevens is the 20th Commissioner to endorse the Rural Crime Network by joining the group.
Sue Mountstevens said: “With many rural areas in Avon and Somerset I understand some of the challenges faced by the rural community. I have also experienced a real desire from these communities to engage with the police and be represented more widely.
“We have some fantastic schemes including Farm and Rural Watches, proving very successful in Avon and Somerset. Methods and initiatives that I feel we could contribute to the national picture. I feel that being able to come together and share best practice will go a long way towards tackling rural crime.”
The Rural Services Network is a ‘not for profit’ organisation which represents a diverse range of rural services. It will also be developing strong links to academic research resources as well as organisations such as Farmers Weekly Magazine, National Community Safety Network, the online crime reporting system ‘Facewatch’, the Country Land and Business Association.
Rural Services Network officer, Nick Payne said: “There is a common perception that rural crime is less significant than that occurring in cities and towns. The impact of rural crime is just as serious as it is elsewhere which is becoming an increasing problem as austerity bites and as police resources are stretched thinner.
“There is good collaborative work already occurring in some localities but it is widely acknowledged that sharing of best practice is patchy and urgently needs to be improved. The Network will ensure that this is effectively coordinated and sustained.”
Once established the Network will provide an online resource for police, community safety practitioners and others to share information, training development, access to case studies and links for reporting crime and/or suspicious behaviour.
Posted on Monday 17th March 2014