Volunteers on horseback help rural crime crackdown

Police volunteers mounted on horseback are helping to combat rural crime in Suffolk.

Aimed at providing a reassuring presence in local communities, the riders are working alongside police support volunteers already embedded across Suffolk Constabulary.

Three mounted volunteers were on hand as Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore launched a new plan to tackle rural and farm crime in the county.

See also: Researchers want farmers’ help with rural crime survey

Mr Passmore said: “The impact of crime is often greater on victims in the countryside due to their remote and isolated locations, making them feel more vulnerable and concerned.”

He added: “I’m fully committed to ensuring people and businesses in our market towns and villages receive their fair share of our county’s policing resources.”

Launched with the NFU and Country Land and Business Association on Thursday (2 March), the new strategy aims to cut rural crime and anti-social behaviour in Suffolk.

Challenges

Suffolk is a large rural county covering 1,500 square miles with over 60 miles of coastline – bringing its own challenges for the police, said Mr Passmore.

The plan recognises that the impact of crime can be higher in rural communities, and people living in remote areas may feel particularly vulnerable because of their isolation.

Assistant chief constable Rachel Kearton said: “We know how important rural policing is and this strategy outlines our commitment to dealing with crimes that affect communities across Suffolk.

“While the county remains one of the safest in the country, we appreciate that policing rural areas does present a number of challenges.”

NFU Suffolk county adviser Rachel Carrington said rural crime remained a real cause of concern for local farmers who deserved to receive the level of policing they expected.

The strategy commits to having a rural specialist in each of the county’s 14 rural Safer Neighbourhood Teams, able to respond to crime and wildlife matters.

As well as mounted volunteers, the constabulary is supported by a team of special constables experienced in rural crime matters to support the police response to rural incidents.

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