Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has welcomed Nottinghamshire Police’s work to tackle rural crime during a national week of action.
Rural crime is one of the key priorities in Commissioner Henry’s Police and Crime Plan, and significant funding has gone into the issue in recent years to recognise the impact it has on victims, responding to the issues and providing support to those affected.
Teams from Nottinghamshire Police were out in force across the county during the National Rural Crime Action Week, which ran between 18 and 24 September, to prevent and drive down rural crime.
The force’s road crime team, roads policing team, and local neighbourhood policing teams were among the resources involved in the operation.
Neighbourhood officers visited and contacted hundreds of farms in rural areas including in Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, and Newark and Sherwood, providing farmers and landowners with crime prevention packs, and engaging with them to find out more about issues affecting them and how police can help tackle them.
In support of the force’s ongoing work to crack down on rural crime, targeted operations and high-visibility patrols also took place aimed at disrupting and preventing criminal activity and bringing offenders to justice.
Commissioner Henry said: "The crucial work done during National Rural Crime Action Week enables us to listen to those at the heart of the rural community and dig deeper into the issues they are facing.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to protect the victims of such a damaging crime, which is why my office has invested significant funding in improving Nottinghamshire Police’s rural crime offer.
“The funding, along with extra training for officers, means that we can provide significant security measures for our most vulnerable and isolated areas, meaning that the people living within them are safe and more importantly feel safe.”
Chief Inspector Clive Collings, the force’s lead for rural and wildlife crime, said: “Our wide range of engagement, education, and enforcement activity during National Rural Crime Action Week is just a snapshot of the policing work we do every day to protect our rural communities, cut crime, and improve people’s quality of life.
“Rural crime is something we tackle consistently throughout the year. We are determined to disrupt and prosecute those criminals that would target our rural communities and work closely with our partners to support those potentially vulnerable to rural offending.
“It is great to hear our officers received really positive feedback over the course of the week. Our challenge is to build on the existing links between our local beat managers and the communities they serve to ensure the essential flow of public information.
"Through this invaluable resource we will continue to focus our efforts in the right places and drive down rural crime.
"We, at Nottinghamshire Police, are committed to doing all we can to keep our rural communities safe and to create hostile environments for criminals seeking to target them.”
A £200,000 project – funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire’s Safer4All fund – was introduced earlier this year and aims to help secure rural homes and businesses across the Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood districts, which include some of the biggest rural spaces in the county.
The project included the appointment ofRural Crime Prevention Officer David Elms, who has since been getting to work evaluating the needs of rural crime victims and implementing a range of security measures to make it more difficult for criminals to reoffend.
The funding builds on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment to tackling rural crime as part of the Make Notts Safe policing plan, which has also seen investment allowing the force to purchase a two 4x4 rural crime vehicles, as well as thermal imaging goggles to help officers spot suspects in unlit rural areas at night-time.
Additional funding has also allowed officers across the force to undertake more training surrounding rural crime. This includes national rural crime training for beat officers, farm awareness and health and safety training and five new rural crime points of contact within the control room.
Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2023