My team and I went to Knipton to deliver my leaflet about improving rural policing. While there I popped into the local village shop to learn it had recently been a victim of armed robbery.
Knife crime and other serious violence is a major factor in the fear of crime in our communities. The police must not only tackle this problem, but be seen to do so to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
If elected to be Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland I will:
- Continue with the #LivesnotKnives campaign;
- Work with criminal justice partners to ensure that violent criminals are caught, convicted and properly punished.
- Target problem areas to disrupt the activities of those who carry knives or are responsible for violent crime.
- Work with neighbouring police forces to ensure regular and effective sharing of intelligence on violent crimes and armed robberies.
A place like Knipton needs to see a wider strategy to deal with Rural Crime. I want to see more police in our rural areas. I want to see high visibility policing in our rural areas. And I want our police to communicate frequently with the law abiding public. I think we should have:
- A Rural Crime Co-Ordinator who will bring together all the agencies who can help prevent crime in rural areas, and tackle it when it does happen;
- Rural Crime Packs available to residents and business to help them protect themselves and ease the fear of crime;
- A Rural Crimestoppers system to provide a quick, confidential channel that people can use to pass on information about crime and criminals.
- An online Rural Crime Hub a one stop shop for farmers and other rural businesses giving advice on crime prevention, how to report crime, who to call and two-way communication with police;
- Regular public meetings with the Police and Crime Commissioner and police officers;
- Effective support for Rural Neighbourhood Watch Schemes;
- A wide-ranging and properly supported Volunteers on Horseback scheme;
- Support for new legislation to make trespass a criminal offence.
Those are my ideas on what we can do to tackle crime in rural areas, but I'm always looking for the views of people who live in our countryside.
Please remember to take my Rural Crime Survey, which you can find here: https://www.rupertmatthews.org.uk/campaigns/rural-policing-campaign