Last chance to have your say on rural crime and policing in National Rural Crime Survey

There are just a few days left for rural communities to have their say on crime and policing where they live.

We want to know the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in rural communities across Suffolk – and the impact it has where you live or work.

Three years ago, the National Rural Crime Survey revealed the huge cost of crime to rural communities – both financial, at £800 million per year, and fear, with chronic under-reporting, anger and frustration at the police and government.

The National Rural Crime Network produced a series of recommendations and, in many areas, the police took steps to improve matters. So, now, we want to know what’s changed.

Questions cover a range of issues – from whether you report crimes that you or your business suffer, to the impact crime and anti-social behaviour has on you and your area, and whether you believe enough is done to catch those who carry out the offences.

It’s all about making sure the voice of rural communities is heard by those who can make a difference to where we live and work – from the Police to Government.

The survey is available at www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.netand is open for submissions until Sunday, 10 June.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and NRCN vice-chairman, Tim Passmore said: “Whether or not rural crime has become more of a problem is the point of this survey.

“Overall, while areas like Suffolk are safer than others, it doesn’t mean we don’t a have problem in an absolute sense.”

Mr Passmore said the results would inform evidence for a fairer funding deal when the formula is revisited in the Spending Review.

Publication of a revised formula, which allocates funding based crime indicators, was delayed in 2015 – and following the election last June.

Mr Passmore said: “We need to submit crucial evidence in our case to the Home Office.

“Successive governments of all colours have failed to re-evaluate the formula to take into account the changing pattern of crime and extra cost of policing rural areas. It may have been fit-for-purpose 20 years ago – but it isn’t now.”

“I hope that anyone living or working in a rural community will spare a few minutes to complete our survey. It will provide a clear picture of what has improved, what challenges remain and what more government, police forces and organisations can do to support the most isolated parts of the country.”

The survey last took place in 2015. Then, 13,000 responded to give their impressions of crime and anti-social behaviour and revealed the financial cost of rural crime was significant – around £800 million every year.