Residents who live in Cheshire’s rural areas are being asked by the county’s police and crime commissioner to have their say on how crime affects the countryside.
David Keane and Cheshire Constabulary have today (Monday 21 May) launched a local rural crime survey.
The commissioner wants to hear from those who live and work in rural areas, with their feedback helping shape how Cheshire Police tackle rural and wildlife crime going forward.
David said: “When a crime occurs in a rural area, this can have a significant impact not only on the victim themselves, but in many cases, their livelihood as well.
“Almost 65 per cent of Cheshire is classified as ‘rural’ so it’s important for police to have a better understanding of the issues and impact of crime on our rural communities.
“I hope that residents and businesses in our rural areas will spare a few minutes to complete this survey and give us their views.”
Questions in the survey cover a range of issues – from whether residents feel safe where they live to how much of a problem they think crime is in their community. The survey also asks what priorities residents would like to see police focus on in their area.
PCSOs will lead the conversation with rural residents, talking to them about important issues they want police to address in rural communities.
“We’re actually in a unique position for PCSOs to drive forward this survey; we now have 25 PCSOs dedicated to serving each of our rural communities under my new PCSO and community base model.
“They are already working closely with partner organisations, volunteers and rural communities themselves to tackle rural crime head on.
“This survey is about making sure residents continue to be heard and police have a clear picture of all rural issues across the county,” added David.
The responses from the survey will be used to develop a new rural crime strategy for Cheshire, which will be launched at a rural crime conference later this year.
The strategy will also be informed by the National Rural Crime Survey which will determine the personal, social and economic cost of rural crime and anti-social behaviour across the country.
ACC Nick Bailey added: “Officers in Cheshire are already doing a huge amount to tackle rural crime with a number of initiatives introduced in recent years to make our rural areas safer.
“PCSOs and local officers have successfully introduced a horse watch scheme to protect expensive equipment from thieves and have implemented Shield – a DNA led initiative unique to each property that marks belongings so they can be returned to owners if they’re stolen.
“This survey will provide a clear picture of what has improved, what challenges remain and what more can be done to combat rural crime.”
The survey is open from now until the end of June. It can be completed online or in person via your local PCSO.