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Government urged to consider true costs of rural policing

Government urged to consider true costs of rural policing

Published at 12:06am 1st September 2015. (Updated at 11:20am 2nd September 2015)

North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is urging the Government to reconsider changes to the way it funds rural police forces.

Julia Mulligan, who is also Chair of the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), has launched the Network's 'rural policing matters’ campaign.

Research from the NRCN has found that trust in policing in rural areas is much lower than in more urban areas, and that only a third of people living or working in rural areas believe that police are responding to issues of concern to them, compared to two thirds nationally.

It also found that rural crime was also significantly under-reported.

The Network is encouraging members of the public to take part in a consultation being carried out by the Government.

It says the proposed funding formula doesn't take into account the unit cost of policing a rural area, and nor does it reflect the majority of work the police do which is not in fact crime-related, such as road safety or responding to welfare issues.

Mrs Mulligan said: "There is real concern, both from representatives of rural communities like our Network, and those communities themselves, that without proper resourcing for rural police forces, then some crimes and anti-social behaviour might not get the attention they deserve.

"Trust in policing is already very low, especially when compared to urban residents, and if the Government doesn’t sufficiently recognise the needs of rural people, and therefore rural policing, that trust will only diminish. We may then be in a vicious cycle of under-reporting, because of lack of trust and resources to deal with issues, which will then lead to further under-reporting.

"If you are a concerned member of a rural community, we want you to make your voice heard by responding directly to the Government's consultation, and to sign the 'rural policing matters' petition. You can find all the information on the Network’s website."

More details at www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/work/rural-policing-matters