Responding to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) released today (6 May) – which concluded that major reforms are needed to improve public confidence in PCCs, Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said: “Local policing for local people is great in theory, but it must translate into effective policing fit for local areas.
“Commissioners have the difficult task of managing tight budgets, while tackling very different rural and urban crimes in their area. A balanced approach to fighting crime should be reflected in policing plans across the country, and the plans must ensure that the policing of rural issues is not secondary to urban issues.
“There should also be a fair allocation of resources and funding.
“With the next Police and Crime Commissioners’ election now only two years away, it is vital to ensure that the needs of rural communities are met. The Countryside Alliance will continue to run its successful ‘rural round tables’ to work with the Commissioners.
“We welcome the report’s recommendations for more collaborative working between neighbouring police forces, and are pleased that innovative technological solutions, such as a mobile application for reporting crime being used in Cheshire, are recognised for the key role they can play in fighting crime.
“We would now like to see forces look at how additional policing support could be provided through the use of special officers, and for forces to engage further with voluntary organisations in rural communities.”