It’s three years since the last National Rural Crime Survey revealed the huge cost of crime to rural communities – both financial and in terms of public confidence and fear of crime.
The National Rural Crime Network produced a series of recommendations and, in many areas – including Sussex – the police took steps to improve matters.
Now it’s time to find out what’s changed.
Do you think rural crime has gone up or down in Sussex? Do you feel safer? What’s your view of the police in your community?
This year’s survey went live on April 17, and I urge anyone who lives, works or visits our rural communities to respond and have their voice heard.
In late 2017, Sussex Police appointed Temporary Superintendent Emma Brice and Sergeant Tom Carter as dedicated leads for rural crime, to address the vulnerabilities and crime types which are specific to rural areas.
We know that there are certain types of crime and areas of vulnerability which impact rural communities and businesses differently from those in urban areas.
Alongside other measures, the responses to this survey will help to ensure that Sussex Police meets the needs of our rural communities.
One of the focuses of this year’s survey is whether rural crime continues to be underreported. Three years ago, one in four people who responded to the survey nationally said they didn’t report the last crime they’d been a victim of because they didn’t see the point.
This is uncomfortable thing to hear, for all those involved in protecting rural areas, so it’s important we ask these questions again and find out whether people are more willing to report crime and if they feel safer.
It’s vital that the voice of rural communities is heard by those who can make a difference – from the Police to Government. Please have your say and help us build a clear picture of crime in rural Sussex and to understand the impact it has where you live or work.
The survey is available now at www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/survey and is open for submissions until Sunday 10 June.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
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