Survey of rural crime will shape policing

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The largest ever survey into crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) in rural areas has been launched in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to find out how the police can better serve rural communities.

The survey, launched by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), is calling for people who work or live in rural areas to come forward and give their views on policing in their community, the impact crime and ASB has on them and their neighbours and to ultimately help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing.

Anyone living or working in rural areas is being encouraged to take part in the survey to help build a picture of what is a widespread but often misunderstood issue. You don’t need to have been a victim of crime to have a view on how the police work. You may be concerned about police visibility or response, see incidents that go unreported, or you may have a local officer who is engaged and proactive.

Against a backdrop of policing budget reductions and a growing focus on higher crime areas, the new survey will assess how crime and ASB, as well as the threat of potential crime, affects individuals, both financially and emotionally. It will also shed light on the human implications of crime and the fear of crime seeking to explore the impact not just on individual victims, but also communities as a whole.

Any crime that happens in an urban area can, and does, happen in rural areas too, and how policing is delivered affects everyone living and working there. Traditional farm-related incidents such as fuel theft and sheep rustling make up just one part of the problem; we need to understand all the other issues that affect people in our remoter areas, as well as in market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.

Nottinghamshire Rural Crime lead DCI Caroline Racher said: “We recognise that crime committed in rural communities can have a significant impact on victims.

“Rural crime is not just confined to agricultural thefts but encompasses a range of offences, from house burglaries to crimes against wildlife, and heritage sites, we want to make sure our rural communities are getting the service they need.“We are supporting the National Rural Crime Network Survey, and I would encourage anyone who lives or works in a rural area to take part, this is your chance to have your say”

The survey will be open until Wednesday 24 June. Click here to complete the survey.

For more information on the NRCN visit: www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net