Have your say on rural crime in Suffolk

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk's rural communities are being encouraged to have their say as a survey seeks to 'ensure the voice of the countryside is heard'.

The National Rural Crime Survey's deadline is just days away – and people are being urged to have their say on crime and policing where they live in a survey which could bring more police funding.

Three years ago, the last survey revealed the huge cost of rural crime as well as chronic under-reporting and anger and frustration at the police and government. It led to a series of recommendations and steps taken by police to bring improvements.

Now, the survey is seeking views on the changes that have happened – whether people feel crime has increased or deceased in Suffolk as well as perceptions on safety and views of the police.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: 'Whether or not rural crime has become more of a problem is the point of this survey.

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'Overall, while areas like Suffolk are safer than others, it doesn't mean we don't have a problem in an absolute sense.'

Mr Passmore said the results would inform evidence for a fairer funding deal, when the formula is revisited in the Spending Review.

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'We need to submit crucial evidence in our case to the Home Office,' he added. Successive governments of all colours have failed to re-evaluate the formula to take into account the changing pattern of crime and extra cost of policing rural areas. It may have been fit-for-purpose 20 years ago – but it isn't now.

'I hope that anyone living or working in a rural community will spare a few minutes to complete our survey. It will provide a clear picture of what has improved, what challenges remain and what more government, police forces and organisations can do to support the most isolated parts of the country.'

Questions cover a range of issues from whether people report crimes that they or their business suffer, to the impact crime and anti-social behaviour is perceived to have on an area, and whether enough is done to catch those who carry out the offences.

The survey is available at www.nationalruralcrime network.net and is open for submissions until Sunday, June 10.

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