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New Rural Crime Strategy commits to reducing crime and vulnerability across Essex’s rural communities

Tackling crimes within rural communities and supporting vulnerable people will be a top priority in a new Rural Crime Strategy being launched soon.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, Essex Police and the Essex Rural Partnership will outline their new rural crime strategy 2023 – 2026 at a public event being held at Layer Marney Tower on Friday 10th March 2023.

In this image there is an Essex Police branded Land Rover 4 x4 vehicle parked in a stubble field with Audley End House in the background.The previous strategy, which completed its four-year term in 2021 saw a significant reduction in rural crimes. Unauthorised encampments were reduced by 50 per cent, hare coursing saw a reduction of 10 per cent and the theft of large machinery by 36 per cent.

Following feedback from rural communities, the new strategy will go even further, with a stronger focus on tackling all crimes within rural communities, supporting community empowerment, protecting vulnerable and isolated rural communities, and supporting victims of crime.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst said: “In Essex, we have made protecting rural and isolated areas a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan 2021 – 2024, with the objective to work with rural communities to help them build greater resilience and make them more safe and secure for all.

“With the current strategy completing its four-year term in 2021, it was timely to renew the strategy to ensure that it is relevant and reflective of the needs of communities in Essex.”

The Essex Rural Crime Strategy 2023-2026 sets out the vision of Essex Police, the Essex Rural Partnership (ERP) and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) to work together to create a safe, secure, and resilient rural community.

The overarching aim of the strategy is reducing crime and vulnerability within Essex’s rural communities.

Roger Hirst added: “Essex has a large rural community that makes a huge contribution to our county. We already work well with our rural communities, but we want to make an even bigger difference to their safety and security by helping them build greater resilience, prioritise the crime that matters to them, support victims and protect the vulnerable.

“Most importantly, we want to prevent crime by building on the strength of rural communities to get crime down together. We have also listened to our rural communities and know they want even more visible policing as this helps them feel safe and reassured.

“We believe this updated Rural Crime Strategy will continue to develop and deliver on these commitments through a proven partnership approach that will help prevent crime from happening in the first place, reduce vulnerability, and make our rural communities safer and more secure for all.”

Nick Shuttleworth, Essex Rural Partnership said: “Essex Rural Partnership brings together a wide range of organisations concerned with the future of the county’s rural areas. Rural crime is an important issue for the Partnership, and we are committed to supporting Essex Police and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner in taking forward this refreshed strategy.”

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: “Essex is a diverse county with large rural areas and many rural communities who as well as facing wider issues face challenges unique to them.”

“Alongside the 24 hour response, community policing, detective and specialist officers that protect the county we have committed specific resources to policing them and our Rural Engagement Team. It is one of the biggest in the country, providing specialist crime prevention advice and support.

“These officers work closely with Essex Police colleagues, the rural communities themselves, partner agencies and other organisations to develop solutions to local problems, to bring offenders to justice and to support victims. Issues such as domestic abuse remain the biggest threat to our communities and, but rural isolation in particular brings its own problems, and we are working with partners to improve suicide awareness and support for vulnerable groups of people, as well as tackling those who cause harm.

“The key to preventing and detecting crime is to target issues which these communities highlight to us and to help them understand what crime prevention measures they can take to protect themselves, their property and their businesses.

“We’re improving police visibility in our rural communities. Officers in our rural engagement and community policing teams across Essex have built good links with many local organisations, residents, farmers and business people. This helps them to continually improve their knowledge and understanding of local issues and what matters to their local communities so they can target wrongdoers.

“Our rural engagement officers provide specialist help and advice to tackle wildlife crimes, such as hare coursing, as well as heritage crimes affecting historic sites and buildings, thefts of agricultural machinery, large-scale organised fly-tipping and unauthorised encampments, and we are investing more in this area.

“We know speeding and bad driving are also a focus of concern and, through the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, our teams work tirelessly to reduce the risk of speeding and collisions on rural roads, through prevention, education and enforcement.

“We’re also expanding the successful Tri-Service Rural Community Officer scheme to Uttlesford, investing in drones and other technology to support rural crime prevention activity while encouraging people to make good use of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Crime Prevention Fund and the High Sheriff’s Fund.

“Some crimes, such as burglary and domestic violence, affect all communities and we treat incidents where there is a risk of threat or harm to the public as a priority, wherever they are committed in Essex.”

The launch event, which is free to attend and is open to everyone, will start at 1pm and finish at 4pm. There will be range of stalls, an Essex Police dog display, a drone display and police officers and fire and rescue service staff will be on hand to talk to and offer advice about safety and crime prevention including tractor and GPS theft, wildlife crime, hare coursing and fly tipping. Teas, coffees and refreshments will be available from the Layer Marney tea shop.

Layer Marney Tower is a Tudor palace with gardens and parkland, dating from 1520 situated in Layer Marney, Essex, England, between Colchester and Maldon. Address: East Court, Tower CO5 9US

To find out more about the event click here to go to our dedicated webpage.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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