Take Part in Biggest Ever Rural Crime Survey

The survey launched by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) is calling for people who work or live in rural areas to come forward and give their views on policing in their community, the impact crime and ASB has on them and their neighbours and to ultimately help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing.

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston is one of the founding members of the NRCN, a new online network which aims to act as a collaborative think tank to tackle rural crime. He is one of 28 Commissioners who signed up to the scheme which is led by North Yorkshire PCC Julia Mulligan. Mr Johnston and the other Commissioners have committed £1,000 per year for the first two years as part of their localised funding commitments to the project.

Gwent Police has already been held up as a model of best practice by the NRCN following the multi-award winning efforts of its Farm Watch scheme to re-engage with rural communities. This has led to an increased confidence in the police and a reduction of £27% in farm related crime in the Force area.

Anyone living or working in rural areas is being encouraged to take part in the survey to help build a picture of what is a widespread but often misunderstood issue. You don't need to have been a victim of crime to have a view on how the police work. You may be concerned about police visibility or response, see incidents that go unreported, or you may have a local officer who is engaged and proactive.

Against a backdrop of policing budget reductions and a growing focus on higher crime areas, the new survey will assess how crime and ASB, as well as the threat of potential crime, affects individuals, both financially and emotionally. It will also shed light on the human implications of crime and the fear of crime seeking to explore the impact not just on individual victims, but also communities as a whole.

Any crime that happens in an urban area can, and does, happen in rural areas too, and how policing is delivered affects everyone living and working there. Traditional farm-related incidents such as fuel theft and sheep rustling make up just one part of the problem; we need to understand all the other issues that affect people in our remoter areas, as well as in market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.

Urging people to complete the survey, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "It's safe to say that people living in rural communities face varying and differing challenges in comparison with those who live in more urban areas. They have unfortunately attracted the attention of criminals that prey on the vulnerability of rural locations. Farms in particular are subject to all types of crimes including machinery, tool and livestock theft. Our successful Farm Watch Scheme in Gwent is a perfect example of how engaging directly with communities can reap real rewards. We want to make sure our rural communities in Gwent are getting the service they need and this survey is the rural public's chance to have a say on how we deliver that service."

The survey will be open until Wednesday 24 June. To complete the survey, please click here

For more information on the NRCN visit www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net
Follow the NRCN on twitter @NationalRCN and use #NRCNsurvey