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Renewed clampdown on rural crime

Renewed clampdown on rural crime

Published at 8:29pm 23rd February 2016. (Updated at 8:35pm 23rd February 2016)

A special team is being created to help tackle crime in North Yorkshire.

The Rural Policing Task Force will be led by an inspector and includes a sergeant, constables, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), a rural policing coordinator and an intelligence analyst.

They will work alongside neighbourhood teams, Special Constables and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, focus on investigations into rural crime and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of being targeted.

As part of a Rural Policing Strategy, Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has also agreed to increase the number of safety camera vehicles available for use in rural areas.

The vehicles will be fitted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to help officers catch travelling criminals and reduce the number of people killed or injured on the county's roads.

In addition, the force will introduce an enhanced community messaging service to alert communities about policing issues as they happen.

Mrs Mulligan said: "North Yorkshire is the safest place to live in the country. But research suggests that our rural communities don't feel as safe as their counterparts in towns. A survey I commissioned as Chair of the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) showed that there is large-scale non-reporting of crime in the countryside and levels of satisfaction with the police are considerably lower than they are among town-dwellers.

"I was determined that things needed to change, which is why I welcome the new rural crime strategy and all it entails. To have the largest rural crime task force in the country shows how seriously the issue is being taken.

"With its new strategy, North Yorkshire Police is showing its determination to tackle rural crime head on, meet the needs of our rural communities and to be at the forefront of best practice when it comes to policing a large, rural population.

"Road safety is a key concern for people in the countryside and so I am pleased to announce more safety camera vehicles which will have the dual role of protecting our borders from travelling criminals and in turn keep us all safer."

Chief Constable Dave Jones added: "This new strategy demonstrates our drive and commitment to keeping all communities safe - irrespective of whether they are in the centre of a town or in the remotest part of our beautiful countryside.

"Tackling rural crime is core business for North Yorkshire Police, and all of our officers and staff play a role in tackling rural concerns. However, the Rural Policing Task Force will provide dedicated specialist resources, so we can strengthen our service in rural areas and make a real difference to people living in those communities."

More information about the Rural Policing Strategy at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/ruralcrime