Backing rural neighbourhoods in the fight against crime

Backing rural neighbourhoods in the fight against crime

Kent is a diverse county – it has vast urban areas, rural villages and is very coastal. Each neighbourhood has its own challenges, as well as common issues that need to be addressed. This is why I have as a guiding principle in my Police and Crime Plan that crime should be considered to be important no matter where it takes place, so that Kent Police continues its strong record on legitimacy by aiding all neighbourhoods. This applies to both residents and businesses, as well as offences that take place “in person” or online.

I have worked with Kent Police to make sure that this can be delivered, whether it be by ensuring that the Chief Constable has the funding he needs to keep over 200 PCSOs in local communities, providing property marking kits to rural businesses and working with councils and others to prevent crime. I’ve also supported the CountryEye reporting app and launched Heritage Watch.

But to take this further, when I announced plans for Kent Police to recruit 200 more Police Officers, I was really pleased to see some of the investment being earmarked for the rural Policing team. I’ve met with them many times before – they are a great bunch of Officers who work really hard to support rural neighbourhoods and businesses. However, there were six of them to cover the whole of Kent, as well as their Inspector and Sergeant.

From today (13 November), that changes. The team has doubled in size from 6 to 12 PCs, and they have a new Rural Crime Co-ordinator – a member of staff who will support their work. And even better news is that there will be rural Officers on duty now every day.

I’m looking forward to meeting the new teams in the next few weeks!

For more information on rural and heritage crime, visit www.kent.police.uk/advice/rural-crime/.

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