Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the eastern region came together in a commitment to intensify their fight against rural crime.
Norfolk’s PCC, Lorne Green, was joined by the PCCs for Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire in signing a Rural Crime Concordat, pledging to work across county borders to tackle the crime issues affecting communities.
The signing of the Concordat took place at a rural crime summit hosted by Mr Green on Friday at Colton, near Norwich, intended to give Norfolk’s rural residents and businesses, the opportunity to have a say on the county’s proposed policing strategy.
Mr Green said: “People here in Norfolk told me about their crime and policing concerns and what they felt they needed from the police to feel safer living or working in their local area. I pledged to take up their concerns and drive forward Norfolk’s approach to tackling rural crime.
“Representatives of Norfolk’s rural communities have today had the chance to find out what more our police will be doing to address their concerns about police visibility, to tackle feelings of isolation, help them feel more engaged with their police service, and encourage the reporting of rural crime.
“But the rural crime issues affecting our county are by no means unique to Norfolk. Criminals do not respect county boundaries, and that is why, as eastern region PCCs, we are pledging to join forces, work across borders and be united in our commitment to fighting rural crime.
“As members of the National Rural Crime Network, which champions a better understanding of crime in rural areas, we’re also delighted that the Network Chair and North Yorkshire PCC, Julia Mulligan, was able to join us at today’s summit.”
The PCC for Cambridgeshire, Jason Ablewhite, said: “Rural Crime continues to be a big problem across the region, threatening local livelihoods, putting pressure on policing resources and increasing the fear of crime within our rural communities.
Figures from NFU Mutual show Cambridgeshire was the fourth highest county for rural thefts last year.
“It’s more important than ever that we work together to continue to address this threat,” he said.
Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones said: “It is with absolute pleasure that I sign this Rural Crime Concordat. It is a clear signal to would be criminals that the combined will and resources of our forces will be brought to bear to protect our rural communities and that historic borders will not afford them any protection.
“Our collective endeavours will tackle issues such as hare coursing that plague our beautiful countryside and, by this commitment together, we are being clear about our objective to meet these challenges head on in to the future.”
Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore Said: “Suffolk is a safe place in which to live, work, travel and invest, but it is a large rural county and this brings its own challenges. Rural areas typically tend to be safer, but I do believe that the impact of crime can be greater on victims in isolated rural locations, making them feel more vulnerable.
I fully support Lorne’s new Rural Policing Strategy and his invitation for neighbouring PCC’s to work with him to ensure we give our rural communities the focus and attention they deserve.”
As vice-chair of the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), I work with Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales to highlight the issue of rural crime. I am totally committed to ensuring policing meets the needs of communities in our remote rural areas and look forward to hearing about the outcomes from the summit when I next meet with Lorne.”