Tony’s Response to Rural Crime
I have received many emails from residents across Hampshire and the IOW concerning their concerns about rural crime and the police response to it. I thought I would therefore post my response for the record.
Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding rural crime. I grew up in a small rural village 8 miles from Romsey and am familiar with rural life and its pleasures and challenges.
Country areas have different needs to urban and city areas and require a different police response. Crime is often more hidden in rural areas. Some crimes can be very serious and perpetrated by organised crime gangs. Particularly the theft of high value machinery, and more recently, hare coursing.
We are even seeing the curse of ‘County Lines Gangs’ penetrating into rural areas putting at particular risk our young and vulnerable. That is one reason why I am pleased that Hampshire and the IOW police have dedicated rural response teams and believe that these play an important role in fighting and deterring crime and keeping people safe.
• Ensuring better use of intelligence;
• Encouraging people to report all crime including rural crime; and
• Better and more effective allocation of police resources.
I do not think these issues listed above are specific to rural areas and all communities want, and need, a much better response. This is not surprising. We have had 20-30% cuts to police services nationally. Additional cuts to related services in the criminal justice system, and cuts to other related services: mental health, youth work, and substance misuse, have impacted significantly on police demand.
Labour and Cooperative candidate for the Hampshire and IOW Police and Crime Commissioner.