My team and I went to Bruntingthorpe to deliver our leaflet on improving Rural Policing in Leicestershire and Rutland. While there we learned that although the village is a low crime area, burglary is a bit of a problem.
Burglary is a crime that can destroy lives. It is not just the loss of property and the damage done, but the sense of violation. Once your home has been invaded, it is difficult to ever feel safe there again. The fear of crime becomes a real and present danger.
We can take positive action to deal with this problem.
- Encourage Neighbourhood Policing units to collect and use local intelligence to target and disrupt the activities of known burglars;
- Proactively offer advice to householders and business owners on how to improve property security;
- Seek ways to target and disrupt the sale of stolen property to make burglary less profitable;
- Target and disrupt the drugs trade.
But this needs to be part of 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