Crime in rural areas emerged as a concern for Warwickshire community safety partners in December 2013 following reports that approximately 75% of all crime in North Warwickshire specifically was classed as ‘rural crime’.
Victims of crime in rural areas are often isolated or in small communities. This can have a disproportionate impact on those victims and their fear of crime. Some rural crimes have involved the theft of plant or equipment which can adversely affect rural businesses.
In response to this emerging issue, County Council Community Safety Project Managers Martyn Stephens and Helen Earp were prompted to establish a Rural Crime Project, with partners, supported by funding from Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
The aims of the project include:
- To identify and promote effective techniques for successfully engaging rural communities to enable them to become more self-resilient in preventing and deterring crime
- To gain the confidence of the public to report crimes to the police, establish a true picture of rural crime and ultimately reduce crime and the fear of crime
- To develop and support a Rural Watch website for Warwickshire residents providing information and advice on rural crime; facebook and twitter accounts were also set up
- To work with Neighbourhood Watch to increase membership in our rural communities
- To develop a Countywide Rural Watch Scheme using best practice enabling information to be circulated to members
- To support Police Safer Neighbourhood Team staff in the rural areas by providing training and tool kits for them to use.
Initially this project was established for tackling rural crime in North Warwickshire. Similar project work has also now been established in the South of the County.
In 2015/16, the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board recognised rural crime as a cross cutting priority for the year ahead.
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