Our work falls into three principal areas; sharing best practice to help tackle crime in rural areas; representing the interests of rural communities; and influencing policy and practice. In order to help shape its work programme, the Network has set out five key aims to:
- Highlight the social, economic and personal costs of crime and anti-social behaviour to help ensure fair distribution of resources nationally and locally.
- Provide the public, police and partners with examples of best practice and innovative work in rural locations, so that they can be taken up more widely across England and Wales.
- Provide reassurance to people living in rural areas that their concerns are being taken seriously and to encourage people to come forward with their views.
- Encourage a stronger local response from the public and businesses to help promote community safety and reduce crime in rural areas.
- Working alongside professionals and practitioners, act as a forum to help develop effective preventative community safety and crime reduction initiatives.
Members of the Network meet quarterly at locations across England and Wales to share ideas and innovations from different parts of the country. Initiatives are assessed for their quality, effectiveness and potential for wider implementation in other areas.
This work is co-ordinated with the national policing lead for rural crime and the College of Policing, which is building a database of “what works”. We also work closely with the national policing lead for Heritage and Cultural Property Crime.
Sharing best practice in this way helps improve effectiveness and efficiency, thus contributing to reducing the occurrence and impact of crime in rural areas.