MORE needs to be done to protect rural areas from criminals.
That’s the view of Hampshire’s Police and Crime Panel which has told the county’s crime commissioner, Simon Hayes, that greater police support is needed to protect people.
The comments are based on comments from residents, as well as evidence presented by Hampshire Constabulary about rural crime.
The feedback will now be put forward to the commissioner as part of the panel’s role to scrutinise his work.
The panel has submitted recommendations on how policing can be improved.
They include the possibility of holding community awareness events to help residents develop their own crime prevention schemes.
The crime commissioner should look into how communication can be improved to encourage the reporting of rural crime, the panel says.
The panel also said local neighbourhood watch schemes should be promoted.
Councillor David Stewart, chairman of the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel, said: ‘With a large proportion of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight being rural in nature, this type of crime has a considerable impact on local communities.
‘This scrutiny exercise, involving the collating of comments and evidence from various parties – including residents and the constabulary itself, is an valuable exercise to provide constructive feedback to the commissioner, and support to his work.
‘The exercise is also an example of how Hampshire’s police and crime panel is able to represent the voice and expectations of residents, and relay their views to the commissioner, who is directly accountable to the public.’
Rural crime, by Hampshire Constabulary’s definition, includes agricultural offences, heritage crime, wildlife crime and serious and organised crime.
The full scrutiny report can be found at hants.gov.uk/hampshire-pcp