PCC launches new Rural Policing Strategy

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore joined the Assistant Chief Constable, Rachel Kearton; police officers, volunteers and representatives from the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association Limited (CLA)to launch Suffolk’s Rural Policing Strategy.

Suffolk is a large rural county covering 1500 square miles and has over 60 miles of coastline and some renowned areas of outstanding natural beauty, this brings its own distinctive challenges for Suffolk Constabulary.

The newly launched strategy recognises that the impact of crime can be higher in rural communities, and people living in remote areas may feel particularly vulnerable because of their isolation. The strategy supports Suffolk’s Police and Crime Plan priorities to protect vulnerable people; focus on prevention and early intervention; cut crime and anti-social behaviour; improve victim care and support the rural economy. It also addresses hidden harm issues and vulnerability often unreported and less visible.

Tim Passmore said, “Suffolk is a safe county and we are very lucky to live and work in such a beautiful place, however, I believe the impact of crime is often greater on victims in the countryside due to their remote and isolated locations, making them feel more vulnerable and concerned.

“As your Police and Crime Commissioner I’m fully committed to ensuring people and businesses in our market towns and villages receive their fair share of our county’s policing resources. This new rural policing strategy helps deliver my Police and Crime Plan policies for rural Suffolk to continue to keeping us safe and I’m very pleased to fully support this fresh approach.”

He added, “As vice chairman of the National Rural Crime Network, I work with Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales to highlight the unique challenges of rural crime and I will continue to do everything possible to ensure policing meets the needs of our rural communities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton said; “We know how important rural policing is and this strategy outlines our commitment to dealing with crimes that affect communities across Suffolk.

“While the county remains one of the safest in the country, we appreciate that policing rural areas does present a number of challenges and that we need to work with partners, residents and businesses to keep people safe and property is protected.

“The strategy details the prevention, intelligence, enforcement and reassurance measures we will take to reduce crime, and the specialist resources that are being used to tackle it.”

NFU Suffolk County Adviser Rachel Carrington said: “Rural crime remains a real cause of concern for our members in Suffolk so we’re pleased that its impact has been recognised within this new strategy. We particularly welcome the commitment to have a specialist rural officer in each Safer Neighbourhood Team.

“We look forward to working with the police and the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure Suffolk’s rural communities receive the policing they expect and deserve.”

The strategy highlights the policing resource in the county which includes two experts in rural, wildlife and heritage crime, supported by a team of
crime reduction and partnership co-ordinators in each of the three policing commands. Each of the 14 rural SNTs will also have a designated specialist able to respond to rural crime and wildlife matters.

The Constabulary is supported by volunteers, on initiatives such as Community Speedwatch to make our rural roads safer, and a team of special constables experienced in rural crime matters who support our policing response to rural incidents. These Specials also support engagement events across the county’s rural locations to promote community safety and crime reduction initiatives.

Picyured with three horseback volunteers are (l-r) Edward Vere Nicoll from the CLA, Rachel Kearton, Tim Passmore and Rachel Carrington, NFU.