Police chief’s vow to tackle rural crimes

The fire near Kentidge Way, Waterlooville, yesterday. Picture: Craig Handy

Suspected arson incident in Waterlooville causes £50,000 of damage

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A COMMITMENT has been made to treat rural crime as seriously as urban crime.

Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, has joined the National Rural Crime Network, which aims to achieve greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural areas.

Mr Hayes said: ‘When I took office, I recognised there was inequality in the way rural crimes were perceived against those committed in the towns and cities.

‘I said that I would provide an improved policing service that was consistently delivered across both urban and rural areas.

‘To achieve this objective I launched my Rural Policing Strategy in July 2014.

‘Since then I am delighted to say that the service to rural communities has improved considerably, with more than 87 per cent of rural-based victims of crime saying they were satisfied with the service they now receive from the police.’

The biggest problem remains the theft of machinery from premises.

Mr Hayes added: ‘I see joining the network as being entirely complementary to the work being undertaken to maintain neighbourhood police teams in rural areas.’