Vision of Rural Policing

29 October 2013

Country people need to make sure their votes count in the elections for the new Police and Crime Commissioner in order to make sure the needs of the countryside are not forgotten or swamped by the demands of urban areas – says CLA Wales.

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The CLA has written to all 15 candidates standing for election in Wales pointing them towards its manifesto on rural crime and asking them to ensure that the rural dimension of the country is given proper consideration and effective representation in any new structure.

CLA Director Ben Underwood said: “Metal and fuel theft, poaching and fly-tipping are crimes that have a huge impact on rural businesses and communities – and it is vital that the needs of rural communities and the essential and ongoing fight against rural crime is properly understood by the candidates in these elections.”

The CLA is also looking for reassurance from the Commissioners that funds will be available to train officers on how to respond in rural areas and that they will make sure they are in touch with rural communities and rural issues by making contact with representative groups.

“Rural crimes cost private landowners millions of pounds a year and pose a real threat to the stability of the rural economy so it is vital that the countryside is not forgotten.”

“It’s essential that these issues are fully and properly understood by the new Commissioner and that our members are represented on any partnerships he or she may seek to establish in the future. It is equally important that everybody who lives or works in the countryside makes sure their voice is heard by taking part and voting in these forthcoming elections,” said Mr Underwood.

The CLA is concerned that diminishing budgets and increasing demands on police time could result in resources being directed towards favouring more heavily populated urban areas – but it was, said Mr Underwood, important for the new Commissioners to appreciate the genuine concerns of rural businesses and rural communities.