As an advocate of tackling rural crime, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed a new national website that shares and showcases information about countryside crime issues - www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net .
Commissioner David Lloyd said: “It is good to see that tackling rural crime is becoming increasingly important nationally and that Hertfordshire is one of the forces leading the way. The new website provides the resources and a platform for practitioners to work together across force boundaries. It also shows those who live and work in rural areas what is being done to deal with crime in the countryside.
“It could be seen as ‘easier’ for police forces to concentrate on violent crime and high volume crimes in urban areas, because crimes in rural areas tend to be far fewer and further between. But, of course, the impact on the victims or the environment can be just as devastating, if not more so because they can happen in isolated places, or affect the aesthetics of location which has an impact on a much wider community, for example, vandalism of an historic monument or theft of lead from a church roof.”
The new National Rural Crime Network website currently features as an example of best practice Hertfordshire’s drive to protect its heritage assets (http://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/best-practice/hertfordshire-police-target-heritage-crime/ ) and is soon to publish information on the force’s new rural crime newsletter ‘Rural Beat’ and the on-going investigation into the suspected theft (night hawking) of world war artefacts.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “Other praise-worthy initiatives I wish to share with the rest of the UK are the well-supported police Barn Meets around the county that reach out to the farming community and the on-going partnership work with charities, land owners and local authorities to tackle fly grazing which we hope will be resolved with the implementation of new legislation expected in early June and a local agreement around the same time.”
For more information about how Hertfordshire Constabulary tackles rural crime visit www.herts.police.uk/rural
If you wish to contact the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner you can email: email@example.com telephone 01707 806100 or write to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, Harpenden Police Station, 15 Vaughan Road, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ.
You can also follow the Commissioner on Twitter @HertsPCC and find out more on his Facebook page: HertsPCC.
Rural theft cost an estimated £44.5m in the UK in 2013, up 5.2%. This includes a 25% rise in livestock theft. Some areas such as the East Midlands, Northern Ireland, East Anglia and the North East have seen the largest year-on-year increases.
Source: NFU Mutual Rural Crime Survey, 2014