Calls have been made asking for tougher action against organised rural crime
Targeting serious organised criminals who travel around the countryside randomly pillaging rural communities must be higher up the law enforcement agenda, says Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl.
Having raised the issue with Government ministers and the organised crime units, the PCC is promising to make it one of the new commitments in his refreshed police and crime plan.
The far reaching document will form the general strategy for reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in Gloucestershire for the next two years.
It will include a new emphasis on burglary, reassuring the public that every crime matters and ‘growing the front line’ by optimising the combined efforts of the police, partners and the public.
“The most recent figures show burglaries are down, but that’s no consolation if your home or property has been broken into. Burglary is a heinous crime and must always be a priority for the police, no matter what,” said Mr. Surl.
“But while most burglaries in urban areas are committed by someone local in order to satisfy a drugs habit, in the countryside it’s different.
“If you live in a rural area, crime is far less frequent but you are more likely to fall victim to what the police refer to as serious acquisitive criminals. These are people who traverse the country, stealing for profit and bringing disruption to rural England.
“It is a national problem which, partly due to lack of resources and partly due to other priorities, has not received an appropriate response. I have raised this with the security minister and the organised crime unites and they all admitted it wasn’t really on their radar.
“What is needed is the sort of national and regional, co-ordinated approach that was developed to combat county lines organised drugs gangs.
“Based on what the public have told me and conversations with the chief constable, it’s what the public are asking for and what the police want. Now the Government is promising extra officers, it gives us a better chance of tackling this issue.
“Every crime matters because every crime has a victim”.
Creating a police and crime plan is one of the PCC’s main responsibilities.
Once the plan is finalised, it will be shared with the police and crime panel.