Plans continuing for new Rural Special Constables to tackle crimes in country areas
Progress on plans for two teams of Rural Special Constables to help fight wildlife crime and other criminal offences in Nottinghamshire’s countryside is to be presented to Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping at a meeting on Wednesday (20 May).
Members of the public are invited to attend the Commissioner’s Strategic Resources and Performance meeting and hear about steps being taken to create this new addition to policing in rural areas.
The meeting at The Balderton Village Centre in Balderton, near Newark, will start at 10a.m. After the presentation on rural crime there will be updates on the running of Nottinghamshire Police, including financial and performance reports relating to both the past year and to the future.
Commenting today on the plans to introduce Rural Special Constables, Commissioner Tipping said: “This scheme focuses on reducing crime in our villages and parkland, on farms and agricultural land with a view to playing an increasingly important role in protecting our rural areas.
“The plan is for the two teams to keep tight links with Nottinghamshire Police’s wildlife crime officers, helping to both prevent rural crime and increase the community engagement, reassurance and problem solving necessary to support those who live in rural areas while also protecting our heritage.
“One of my key priorities this year is the focus on rural crime and I hope that this scheme will be a significant stride forward in further tackling the criminals who cause harm and suffering in our more isolated places.”
As well as creating two teams of Rural Special Constables, the Force’s Citizens in Policing Department is also looking at deploying additional Specials to work in open spaces and on waterways.
All in all, the rural areas expected to benefit from this new branch of support is far-reaching, with the focus including forestry, wasteland, parkland and conservation areas along with the tackling of badger, bat and raptor persecution and poaching.
The Rural Special Constables will have knowledge of rural crimes that range from theft of livestock, drug dealing and cannabis cultivation to theft from churches and churchyards. Reduction and prevention of criminal damage to graveyards, monuments, barns, fences, fields and crops will likewise fall within their responsibilities. An important element of the role will involve close communication with community members, environmental, farming and conservationist organisations. This will include crime prevention and early intervention messages to local community members.
Separate matters to be heard at Wednesday’s meeting will include Chief Constable Chris Eyre’s Update Report. He will provide crime figures showing that the Force has succeeded in reducing house burglaries in Nottinghamshire by 408 in 2014/15 compared to the previous year – a reduction of 9.1%. Robbery was also down from 1075 to 1009 offences. However, a 5.8% rise in all crime was recorded, figures which included a 79.4% rise in rape offences due to historic incidents.
Other information presented to the meeting points to the current victim satisfaction rate being at 85.4%; progress made in stop and search powers with significant time and effort spent on ensuring that the Force is robust in its practices; and while significant financial savings have been achieved more savings are needed to meet the funding gap over the next four to five years.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Note to Members of the Press: You are most welcome to attend this meeting.
Posted on Friday 15th May 2015