- Membership of the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) will be open to organisations who wish to collaborate effectively with the responsible statutory agencies to reduce crime and the fear of crime in rural communities.
- The NRCN is intended to be a national strategic multi-sectoral and multi-agency group that facilitates collaboration and sharing of best practice to successfully address crime occurring in rural communities.
- The NRCN is also intended to help promote effective techniques for successfully engaging rural communities to enable them to become more self -resilient in preventing and deterring crime in their areas.
- The objectives of the National Rural Crime Network are defined as:-
- To act as a multi-agency think tank on rural crime strategy.
- To encourage and support the activities of those involved in making rural communities across England and Wales become and feel safer, as well as assisting them in the protection and preservation of heritage assets and their settings.
- Provide information and support for rural communities by promoting and facilitating the sharing of good practice.
- To develop and target good publicity to encourage stronger local response from the public and businesses in relation to reducing crime in rural communities.
- To encourage regional fora and facilitate a national forum for discussions between relevant rural partners and appropriate national organisations and watch groups on rural crime issues.
- To act as a forum to consider effective Community Safety Initiatives across rural areas.
NB: The National Rural Crime Network is concerned with the occurrence and fear of all crime affecting rural communities. This includes wildlife, heritage, marine and other crimes including anti-social behaviour which impact on individuals, a community, property, businesses, environment and/or the quality of life in rural areas and the rural economy. The NRCN is committed to improving the response to those challenges. Until an agreed national definition of rural crime is promoted and universally accepted this definition will be used to focus and prioritise the NRCN’s activities.
- The NRCN will be facilitated by the Rural Services Network working in conjunction with a range of rural interest organisations and relevant specialists to provide dynamic information exchange and a learning resource to assist the police in reducing the impact of crime in rural communities.
- The NRCN will primarily function after its initial establishment and set up arrangements have been agreed through the use of the internet taking advantage of knowledge hub based information sharing and discussion groups, webinars. These are intended to provide a resource for members to contribute to and comment upon with their peers and other NRCN members.
- The NRCN will on request also contribute to the activities of other groups and organisations in relation to the rural crime challenge and will contribute to the knowledge base through participation in relevant conferences and training events.
- The NRCN will be overseen by a multi-agency Executive Board which will meet 3 times per year to review progress of the Network against an agreed annual work programme and to provide direction for future activities/developments. Themed task and finish groups may be convened by the NRCN to undertake specific pieces of work.
- The NRCN will facilitate and develop strong links to academia and the College of Policing with its membership, assisting in the commissioning of research to help improve the response to the challenge of crime in rural communities and the effective engagement of those communities in that task. The NRCN will assist in jointly seeking relevant academic and other grants to fund this activity where appropriate.
- The NRCN seeks to influence current policy decisions around rural crime taken by those in government and elsewhere that impact upon rural crime services and response. In this regard an annual meeting of NRCN representatives will be convened with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services to discuss current rural crime issues and concerns with Parliamentarians.
- The NRCN is intended to operate through a consensus based approach. Where agreement of a course of action cannot be agreed by consensus, a simple majority voting system will be deployed to determine a course of action. Each member organisation present will have one vote and the Chairman will have a discretionary casting vote in the event of a voting tie.
- One meeting a year will be designated as an Annual General Meeting at which the new Chairman will be appointed, any financial reports are considered and approved, the work programme outcomes and any required amendments to these Terms of Reference or adopted Constitution, as applicable.
(Approved at a meeting of the NRCN on 20 June 2014)