GUEST COLUMN: Rural and countryside crime is priority for police, by Paddy Tipping Notts Police and Crime Commissioner

PADDY TIPPING -- police and crime commissioner is to visit Kirkby.
PADDY TIPPING -- police and crime commissioner is to visit Kirkby.

Every community across Nottinghamshire has a right to feel safe and protected.

Reducing the fear of crime can be challenging, however, particularly within our rural areas.

Our most isolated rural communities can sometimes feel cut off from public services which can contribute to a sense of fear and vulnerability. This is something I’m determined to address.

Rural crime is a key priority outlined in my Police and Crime Plan 2015-2018. With an emphasis on visibility, we’ve established a dedicated rural special constables team at Ollerton to work proactively with our local communities and the neighbourhood policing teams to improve our response to rural crime.

These officers have been specially trained by national bodies such as the National Farmers’ Union and Historic England to tackle rural offending which impacts upon forestry, conservation areas and agricultural land, while also preventing and investigating crimes committed against wildlife such as poaching, cruelty and animal baiting.

In the past, the countryside has been considered an easy target by criminals living in urban areas or indeed outside of our borders.

For this reason, funding has been secured for a ring of 24-hour automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which can monitor the number plates of passing vehicles to be implemented in Bassetlaw.

This will be supported by policing operations and mobile ANPR vans.

In addition, we’re also piloting a Nottinghamshire Alert messaging system that allows Neighbourhood Watch, Action Fraud, Trading Standards and other public organisations to distribute messages about community safety to members of the public quickly and efficiently.

Currently, Nottinghamshire Police can only send alerts via email.

Funding provided from my office will ensure these safety messages can be delivered via text for those members of the public who sign up.

Making sure the public are well-informed is vital to preventing crime and as part of this we’ve produced a new leaflet providing helpful advice to reduce the risk in our rural communities.

This has been backed up a new dedicated rural crime advice page containing information and advice specifically for rural communities which can be accessed at www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/ruralcrime.

The cuts to public funding are hurting more than ever and we cannot pretend that we have all the resources we need to manage crime in the way we would ideally like 
to.

However, we are doing everything we can to maximise public safety. In tough times, it’s important we act where it matters most to our communities and I would encourage our residents to continue feeding this information to me.

This means spelling out what you would like to see as well as that which doesn’t concern you.