Cheshire Police has today (Thursday 8 November 2018) published its rural and wildlife policing strategy which outlines how it will tackle these crimes from now until 2021.
Its launch coincides with the National Rural Crime Day of Action, where police forces up and down the country are showing their commitment to tackling rural issues.
The strategy has been developed in response to the local and national rural crime surveys and following extensive feedback from Cheshire residents as part of a consultation led by the county’s police and crime commissioner, David Keane.
In the strategy, the commissioner sets out five commitments to Cheshire residents to tackle rural and wildlife crime. They are:
- To provide a dedicated PCSO for Cheshire’s 26 rural communities and ensure every PCSO is trained in tackling rural issues.
- To ensure every major rural event is attended by specialist rural officers, that PCSOs visit all farming premises in the county on an annual basis and that each rural community is supported by two nights of rural action per year.
- To ensure each of Cheshire’s 26 rural communities has a dedicated Rural Watch scheme in place to prevent rural and wildlife crime
- To deliver both prevention and enforcement of rural road safety issues.
- To work with neighbouring forces and partners to target those who commit rural crime in Cheshire.
David said: “I’m proud to be launching Cheshire’s new rural and wildlife policing strategy which sets out a real commitment to supporting rural communities.
“Many of the crimes which occur in rural areas are unique and can have a major impact on not only their victims but their livelihoods as well; that’s why it’s important that officers in Cheshire receive specialist training to help prevent these crimes.
“Earlier this year, I was able to roll-out my new initiative of providing a PCSO for every policing community in Cheshire, which saw all 26 designated rural communities receive their own dedicated PCSO and police community base.
“This initiative has already increased the visibility of police in rural areas and this strategy will further increase that visibility with officers and PCSOs attending all major rural events and spending more time in rural communities to tackle road safety issues.
“Whilst they are relatively safe already, I am confident that the priorities outlined in this strategy demonstrate our commitment to our rural communities and will make them even safer.”
The strategy also outlines what tactics police in rural areas will use to tackle crime. This includes working with partners on preventive methods, using intelligence to identify problems and disrupt criminality and using enforcement to target offenders who cause the most harm.
Chief inspector Simon Meegan, Cheshire Police’s rural crime lead, added: “With more than 65 per cent of Cheshire classed as ‘rural’, we are committed to putting the right resources in place to tackle rural crime head-on.
“This strategy sets out a real commitment to putting preventative measures in place to make our rural areas safer. It is vitally important that we continue to strength our relationships with our partners and individual communities to do this to ensure those living and working in the countryside receive the best possible service.”
The Cheshire rural and wildlife policing strategy is available to read here.