Last weekend my team and I went to North Kilworth to deliver our leaflet on combatting rural crime. You can watch our video of the morning's activities above.
In these days of Covid it is not possible to knock on doors as we would normally do. However, some folks are out in their gardens, or are passing by and some are willing to stop and chat about crime and policing in their community. As you will see we had a bit of an issue with rain that day, so it was not really possible to talk to as many people as I would normally like to do. Howevever, one lady did say that several vehicles had been broken into in the area over recent months.
This raised two issues: Vehicle Crime and Rural Crime.
Thefts of motor vehicles, and from motor vehicles, is on the rise. In part this is driven by changes in criminal technology – for instance it has become easier to copy and clone electronic key fobs – but more sophisticated organisation by a small number of gangs is also a factor. I would like to see the police:
- Lobby manufacturers to improve the security of the vehicles they make;
- Target and disrupt car boot sales and other venues where power tools stolen from vehicles are sold;
- Contact owners of vulnerable vehicles to give crime prevention advice;
- Encourage Neighbourhood Policing units to gather, analyse and use data on emerging crime patterns;
- Put more police on patrol in high risk areas to target and disrupt gangs.
The perception is that rural areas offer easy pickings to criminals due to the great distances involved and often poor roads, both of which slow down police response times. That must end. Our local police are doing their best with limited resources, but more needs to be done. I would like the police to :
- Deploy more police to rural areas.
- Ensure higher visibility policing in our rural areas.
- Establish 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;
- Make Rural Crime Packs available to residents and business to help them protect themselves and ease the fear of crime;
- Build an effective Rural Crimestoppers system to provide a quick, confidential channel that people can use to pass on information about crime and criminals.
- Maintain 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;
- Hold regular public meetings with the Neighbourhood Policing area team present;
- Ensure effective support for Rural Neighbourhood Watch Schemes;
- Rebuild a wide-ranging and properly supported Volunteers on Horseback scheme;
- Work closely with East Midlands Special Operations Unit, National Crime Square and the Border Force to tackle the way gangs dispose of the vehicles;
- Ask Roads Policing vehicles to check farm vehicles and plant, especially movements after dark;
- Lobby for new legislation to make trespass a criminal offence;
- Work with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit to target and disrupt the networks through which stolen farm machinery, farm vehicles and livestock are sold.
Overall, I want to see the police more active and more visible in our communities. As Sir Robert Peel said when he established the modern police forces "The public are the police and the police are the public". Read more about the Peelian Principles of Policing HERE.
You can have your say on improving policing in our area by taking my survey on local crime HERE.
Learn more about my campaign in your area by using my interactive map of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland HERE.