Countryside residents are being urged to make their voices heard in the National Crime Poll – the largest ever survey into crime and anti-social behaviour in rural areas.
The survey has been launched in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to find out how the police can better serve rural communities.
The fear of crime can be as detrimental to people’s wellbeing as crimes themselves, so we are keen to find out more through this survey.Julia Mulligan
It has been launched by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) and supported by the RSN which provides it’s Secretariat.
The 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 anti-social behaviour 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.
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; the NRCN needs 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.
Chair of the NRCN, Julia Mulligan, said, “The full scale of crime in rural areas has never before been assessed.
“Whilst official figures show rural crime, like crime in general, is decreasing, we are concerned about the wider implications on people and communities.
“The fear of crime can be as detrimental to people’s wellbeing as crimes themselves, so we are keen to find out more through this survey.
“Our aim is to build a clear picture of the issue to shape future delivery of services locally and nationally.
“By completing the survey, people can really have their say on how crime affects them and what they expect from local police and their partners involved in community safety.”
•The survey will be open until June 24 and can be found at www.nationalrural crimenetwork.net.
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