Govt funding to support rural crime network

Rural crime is a top priority for Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore and he is delighted to announce that the government has confirmed a two-year funding package for a newly created National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) operating across England and Wales.

Funding of almost £40,000 was announced by the Home Office on Monday (28 July). It will be used to provide information and support for rural communities by encouraging direct interaction between businesses, organisations and the police.

Tim Passmore is deputy chairman of the group which brings together 28 Police and Crime Commissioners – as well as their Police Forces – with other national rural stakeholder organisers such as the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

Tim Passmore said: “This award is a fantastic boost for the fight against rural crime which is an important strand in Suffolk’s Police and Crime Plan.

“Suffolk is a safe place in which to live, work, travel and invest, and rural areas typically tend to be safer but the impact of rural crime can be greater on victims in isolated rural locations. This network will ensure we give our rural communities the focus and attention they deserve.”

He added, “I have been involved in the network since its formation and have worked closely with fellow PCCs to highlight the issue of rural crime. It’s good to receive this official recognition so early in the life of the project.

“The government funding will be boosted by individual funding pledges from each of the PCCs and commercial sponsorship kindly provided by NFU Mutual.”

The funding will be used by the network to encourage rural communities to participate in local crime prevention initiatives. It will also be used to help network members share best practice when it comes to detecting, preventing and deterring rural crime across England and Wales.

The NRCN, which is led by North Yorkshire PCC Julia Mulligan, has been granted £39,200 from the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund – a £50 million fund for projects that encourage collaboration between emergency services and communities.

Policing Minister Mike Penning said: “The National Rural Crime Network will help support rural communities and businesses that are all too often targeted by ruthless criminals who consider homes and property in the countryside an easy target.

“This collaborative approach between North Yorkshire Police and dozens of PCCs around England and Wales will enable forces and neighbourhoods to become more resilient in preventing these crimes and protecting businesses and communities in rural areas.”

In addition to working with National Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers, the NCRN encourages the development of strong links between national policing leads for rural and wildlife crime, for heritage crime, and interested organisations such as the National Farmers Union and English Heritage.

Tim is photographed above with PC Mark Bryant from Suffolk’s specialist Rural Crime Team