Growing demand on police
The highest two reported issues in Lancashire were fly tipping and speeding, raised by 50% and 34% of respondents respectively. These came ahead of criminal damage (10%) and theft (9%).
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said, “This survey shows that concerns about rural crime are a real issue in the county and I will be working with the Constabulary to understand how we can improve the service with the ever reducing resources available to us.
“The fact that the main issues aren’t just for the police does show the impact that cuts across the public sector have on our communities. For years I have been saying that cuts to council services, and other partners, impact on the police.
“While there is a lot of work to be done to make rural communities feel safer, I am glad that the majority of residents in our rural communities have a positive view of the police overall.”
Local authorities and the environment agency are responsible for dealing with fly tipping while the police work closely with councils and other partners through the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership to tackle speeding.
Superintendent Julian Platt, Lancashire Constabulary’s lead on rural crime said, “Lancashire Constabulary have a strong policing offer for rural communities. However we realise that the backdrop of austerity has the potential to increase rural vulnerability and rural deprivation.
“Within our rural communities we have specially trained local officers who understand rural life, the challenges and how best to support our community. Recently, Lan
cashire has purchased new 4×4 vehicles to make sure these officers can extend our reach into rural Lancashire.
“We enjoy strong partnership working that joins up agencies and ensures we are more effective and while policing rural Lancashire in 2018 is presents tough challenges, by working together we can keep the whole county safe.”
The survey was commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) which is made up of 30 Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country, including Lancashire. It is also supported by a wide range of other bodies with a deep interest in community safety and rural affairs.
Julia Mulligan, Chair of the NRCN, says the survey must be a wake-up call for those in positions of power:
“The National Rural Crime Network will continue to fight for rural communities, who should not have to put up with sub-standard services just because of where they live. This simply cannot be tolerated. Despite the passionate and professional police officers working incredibly hard day-in, day-out, them and the communities they serve are being let down because priorities lie elsewhere.
Research was carried out between 18 April and 10 June by independent research company The Buzzz. In total 20,252 responses were received from across England and Wales. 1,320 responses were received from residents in the Lancashire area.