Stay Safe this Summer by Rob Cross

Early summertime is a busy period in the farming calendar and it’s reflected in demand for policing resources.

At a glance, in the last few weeks we’ve been taking vehicles off the streets because they have either had no insurance or the driver has had no driving licence. We’ve been working across county borders strengthening relationships with neighbouring forces. This in turn leads to improved sharing of information and intelligence and has yielded positive results and multiple arrests. Your officers have been combatting anti-social behaviour and working late into the evening / early hours to reassure the community that we take these ‘minor’ issues seriously. We’ve worked with the Angling Trust and Environment Agency to combat the increasing issue of poaching and fish theft. This type of crime is on the rise and when you consider the cost to replace stolen fish, it can cause real financial issues for smaller fisheries and lakes. We’ve also worked with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue at a serious arson in an isolated location, and Leicestershire and Rutland 4x4 Response to deal with a community issue on a green lane. 

The National Rural Crime Network published some stark figures in 2015. They surveyed 17,000 people and found that crime in rural parts of England and Wales cost more than £800m in 2014. The average cost to victims was £2,500 for rural households and £4,000 for businesses. The survey suggested that 27% of crimes were not reported in rural areas and it found the two greatest concerns to the rural community were road safety (63%) and fly-tipping (61%). 

Crime trends and patterns can be seasonal, but the underlying themes remain the same. 

Call 101 to report things to your local police, or 999 in an emergency. Don’t be afraid to request contact from your local beat team or at the very least ask for your report to be highlighted to them. 

Take responsibility for your property. If you don’t - someone else will. 

Be safe on the roads. In the summer months we often see an increase of people using the roads. Horses. Motorcyclists. Classic car enthusiasts. 

Take your time. So far in 2016 there have been 25 fatal road traffic collisions on Leicestershire roads. 

I hope you’ve seen your local beat teams at the summer events. I was at the Market Bosworth Show and the Ashby Show. It was good to hear such positive feedback from the rural community. 

If you want to be part of your local FastText group, message us via Facebook (search for Leicestershire and Rutland Rural Watch) or email: rural.watch@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk 

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