Residents of rural communities in Lincolnshire are being asked to help shape the future of their communities by taking part in one of the largest surveys undertaken in rural Britain.
The National Rural Crime Survey was last completed three years ago by 13,000 residents, and revealed the huge financial cost of crime to rural communities – at £800 million per year.
The survey indicated that hard-pressed young families and farmers were the most frequent victims of crime, with the average cost of those crimes to a household being over £2,500 and for a business over £4,000.
The survey made a significant impact on policing across rural Britain with many forces introducing rural crime teams or dedicated officers and improved collaboration across county borders.
Now the National Rural Crime Network is launching its second survey to identify any changes since 2015 and determine the true personal, social and economy cost of rural crime and anti-social behaviour.
The survey objectives include:
• To understand under reporting – by measuring the scale and nature of rural crime and anti-social behaviour allowing the police and other agencies to understand, cost and respond to the actual demands of rural policing.
• To determine the extent to which current under reporting of crime in rural communities is masking the true picture, and assess whether this has changed since the 2015 survey.
• To find out what the perceptions of rural policing are, allowing the police and other agencies to understand the challenge of providing reassurance to rural communities.
• To discover the extent to which initiatives implemented in response to the 2015 findings have made a difference to rural communities.
Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said: “We welcome any opportunity to hear what our rural communities think of our policing and we will work with them to help us improve our service.
“It can be very frightening for people living in rural areas if they are a victim of crime and this can lead to them feeling extremely vulnerable and isolated if we don’t get our response right.
“Please have your say in this survey and help us to keep rural communities safe.”
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones added: “It’s crucial that the people of rural Lincolnshire make their voice heard.
“If we are to help our communities thrive and stay safe we need to understand the challenges and what more government, police forces and organisations can do to support the most isolated parts of the country.”
The survey is available here and is open for submissions until Sunday, June 10.