Survey to understand how rural residents feel about crime

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team <i>(Image: Dorset Police Rural Crime Team)</i>
Dorset Police Rural Crime Team (Image: Dorset Police Rural Crime Team)

A survey has been launched across the south west to explore how crime is affecting rural communities.

South West Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have joined forces for the survey in a bid to understand how their county's rural communities are affected by crime.

The PCCs involved include Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, and his counterparts in Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

In 2018, the National Rural Crime Network ran a similar survey which found that rural communities were living in fear of crime, unhappy with the police and felt isolated and vulnerable.

In the five years since, police forces across the south west have shown an increased commitment to tackling rural crime, the Dorset PCC's office says, with forces working together to target criminals who cross each county's rural borders and to seize stolen goods and return the items to their rightful owners.

Most recently in Dorset, the Rural Crime Team have worked alongside other forces to recover over a million pounds worth of stolen farm machinery and vehicles.

The team has also been investigating animal cruelty and puppy farms and working jointly with neighbouring forces to conduct proactive patrols for poaching and hare coursing.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “A lot of work has gone into improving the service our rural residents receive from their police force.

"It is important that we take a moment to take stock of how far we have come and note where we still need to improve. This survey will do just that by allowing us to compare to the 2018 survey data and uncover how rural residents are feeling now.

"As the voice of the public in policing, I am very keen to better understand my constituents’ views on these issues and will be urging as many people as possible to respond to the survey. I would be delighted and very grateful if Dorset’s rural residents would participate in this survey and tell me what they think.”

The survey asks rural residents if they have been the victim of any crimes in the last 12 months as well as asking what rural crimes concern them the most.

The survey can be accessed online at