Whilst not a separate priority in my Police and Crime Plan, rural crime is nevertheless a key area of focus for my team. My Deputy Commissioner has taken a lead on rural crime issues, and I am pleased that we now have dedicated rural crime teams in place.
Key areas of progress during 2022/23 have included:
- Training to ensure an improved understanding of rural crime amongst contact centre staff, ensuring that they are better able to identify risks and provide support to residents making contact.
- Use of national uplift capacity in some areas to introduce additional rural crime resources, such as in Mole Valley where the Borough Commander has introduced a dedicated post.
- Ongoing representation on the National Rural Crime Network and South-East Rural Partnership, which both champion a better understanding of crime in rural areas and effective ways to help to keep rural communities safe.
- Regular engagement with rural communities, including face-to-face meetings with farmers.
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