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19 May 2015, 06:00
Cambridgeshire Police have become the latest force to sign up to a new rural crime network that aims to sharpen the approach to countryside-based criminality.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright have become members of the National Rural Crime Network - a multiagency think tank that champions a better understanding of rural crime and delivers effective ways to keep rural communities safer.
The network, which will undertake extensive research into rural crime and antisocial behaviour and publish information for community safety providers on its website, was established in July 2014. It is currently supported by 29 Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces across England and Wales in addition to a host of other bodies with an interest in community safety and rural affairs.
Involvement in this network supports the work already done by the Constabulary in partnership with Countryside Watch, The National Farmers' Union (NFU) and other rural agencies to help combat rural crime.
One of the priorities of the Network is to influence policy and strategy decisions on rural crime to ensure isolated communities are better understood. It is currently preparing to undertake the country's largest ever rural crime survey.
Chief Inspector James Sutherland, Area Commander - South Cambridgeshire and Rural Crime lead for Cambridgeshire Constabulary - said: "The Constabulary is working hard to pick up the pace in our response to rural crime. We've done some good work over the last twelve months and with the help of the Rural Crime Network we look forward to achieving even more for the rural community over the coming months."
Julia Mulligan, Chair of the National Rural Crime Network said:
"The Network provides the resources and platform for practitioners to work together to tackle rural crime. This new website will allow people from across the country to share their experiences, discuss issues and learn from each other without leaving their own communities. It lets people find out what schemes work best, and then get those shared quickly throughout England and Wales so everyone can benefit.
For the first time, rural crime can be discussed in one place and without geographic boundaries, allowing national trends to be identified and, when appropriate, national policies to be developed."