Crime: Rural Areas

Home Office written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government has not made a specific assessment of the effect that crime committed in rural areas has had on the economy.

Police reform is working, and crime has fallen by more than 20 per cent under this Coalition Government, according to the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The latest Crime Survey data shows that the proportion of adults who were victims of crime was substantially lower in rural than urban areas. However, the Coalition Government recognises that rural communities may be particularly vulnerable to certain crime types, including theft of fuel, agricultural machinery and metal, which we recognise will have an economic impact on communities. Local initiatives such as Farm Watch, have shown themselves to be part of the response to such crimes where they operate.

The election of Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales has given communities, including rural communities, a stronger voice in determining how police resources are allocated to tackle the crimes that matter most to them. In addition, the Home Office awarded around £40,000 to the National Rural Crime Network from the Police Innovation Fund earlier this year. This will help to reduce crime in rural areas by providing information and support for rural communities and encouraging direct interaction between businesses, organisations and the police.

We also welcome the recent launch of the Centre for Rural Policing and Justice in Dyfed Powys. This has been led by the Police and Crime Commissioner and will see the police collaborating with the Cardiff-based Universities’ Police Science Institute to develop new expertise in keeping rural communities safe.

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