A major new crime survey aiming to “lift the lid” on rural crime in Derbyshire and across the country has opened.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has urged anyone living or working in the county’s rural towns and villages to make time to share their views and play a positive part in the response to rural crime and antisocial behaviour by completing the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey.
It has been three years since the last National Rural Crime Survey exposed the £800m annual cost of crime to rural communities and the fear, frustration and lack of confidence in reporting crime that existed in some parts of England and Wales.
The National Rural Crime Network, which oversees the survey, produced a series of recommendations which promoted positive action across many police forces. This year’s survey aims to find out what else has changed.
Mr Dhindsa has been at the forefront of improvements to increase Derbyshire’s capacity to fight rural crime and support rural communities.
In March last year, he jointly launched the county’s first Rural Crime Team, based at Matlock, which directly resolved rural crimes worth a combined £120,000 in its first six months.
The dedicated team, which spearheads intelligence operations to tackle rural crime threats including illegal fish poaching, hare coursing and thefts of quad bikes, tractors and trailers, has been increased in size to help investigative and preventative capacity, to make Derbyshire’s rural communities safer.
Mr Dhindsa said: “We really do want to get it right for our rural communities and spare hardworking families and business owners the misery of dealing with crime. Our new Rural Crime Team and Wildlife Crime Officers have improved relationships with farmers, agricultural businesses, residents and traders and this has helped to increase reporting of crime but we need to reach everybody and give everyone a chance of airing their views.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to complete this survey and help us map out the problems and assess the scale of rural crime in Derbyshire. By taking a few minutes of your time, you can really make a difference to how we respond to rural crime in the future.
“Whatever your views – positive or negative – we want to hear them so we can get better.”
The survey, which attracted 13,000 responses in 2015, covers a range of issues from whether people report crimes they personally or their business suffers to the impact crime and anti-social behaviour has on their area and whether or not they believe enough is being done to catch those responsible.
The survey is now available at www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net and is open for submissions until Sunday 10 June.
One of this year’s questions focuses is whether rural crime continues to be underreported. Three years ago, one in four said they didn’t report the last crime they’d been a victim of because they didn’t see the point.
Following the 2015 report, encouraged by the Commissioner, Derbyshire made huge efforts to improve the way it tackled rural crime, with specialist training and the launch of a rural crime team in 2017.
Hardyal Dhindsa is a member of the Network’s Board. He explained: “The aim of the National Rural Crime Network is to see greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural communities so more can be done to help them be safe – and feel safe. In order to achieve that, we need to know the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour that residents and businesses face.”
The National Rural Crime Network brings together Police and Crime Commissioners, police forces and organisations that play a key role in rural communities – like the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, Neighbourhood Watch, Crimestoppers, Historic England and the Countryside Alliance.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 26th April 2018