The CLA is pleased to hear that Thames Valley Police will now attend every rural crime reported, under the new Force definition.
This means any reports which were previously dealt with over the phone by the Police Enquiry Centre, such as un-witnessed criminal damage or low value thefts, will now be escalated and an appointment made with the victim. Any incidents previously dealt with by an appointment will be dealt with under the urgent attendance policy, which means police officers will aim to be with the caller/victim within one hour. Any incidents which require an urgent or immediate response will continue to be dealt with as urgent or immediate.
Ch Supt Tim De Meyer, Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships said: "This faster response reflects our determination to tackle rural crime and is part of a range of measures we are introducing to prevent, detect and reduce it".
The Local Policing Areas (LPAs) most affected by this change are South Oxfordshire and the Vale, West Berkshire, and Chiltern and South Bucks. As a result, these LPAs will have on average one to three additional urgent attendances per week to resource.
Thames Valley Police define rural crime as any case where:
The offence occurred at a:
• Farm barn
• Farm shop
• Farm building
• Farm yard
• Farm house
• Farm field
• Fish farm
Or the property involved is:
• Agricultural machinery
• Agricultural tools
• Hay/ straw
• Heating oil and red diesel
• Horse boxes and tack
And the offence is:
• Criminal damage
• Public health offences (fly tipping)
Hare coursing and poaching offences are including under the definition.
Ch Supt Tim De Meyer continues: "This definition will ensure that we focus on the crimes that target or affect the rural economy. Crime in these categories has gone down in recent years. But there is still more to be done.
"This faster response, followed up by thorough investigation, will of course increase our chances of finding evidence and catching the criminals responsible."
More information about rural crime can be found on the Thames Valley Police website.