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Countryside Alliance launches Police and Crime Commissioner manifesto

Nearly six out of 10 do not think rural policing has improved since the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Rural crime is one of those issues that is high on the agenda of those who live and work in the countryside yet fails to make traction in the corridors of power and still after 12 years of elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) we seem no closer to tackling the problem.  

On 2 May you can vote for your next PCC and we have launched our Police and Crime Commissioner Manifesto calling on those elected to work with rural communities in tackling this increasing problem in the countryside.  

We want to see the re-elected and newly elected Commissioners use this as an opportunity to reset the relationship between the police and rural communities, working together to rebuild trust, and ensuring that the police take rural crime seriously. Our annual Rural Crime Survey demonstrates a feeling within rural communities that the police cannot do anything about many crimes. PCCs can ensure that police not only understand rural communities but also take action to reassure those who live and work in the countryside. 

We want to work with Police and Crime Commissioners to build a clear picture of rural crime to help shape future policing and ensure funding is spent where it is most needed, rather than simply being channelled to conurbations. The ultimate aim is to make rural communities safer and to feel safer. 

However, rural communities must play their part too, and they must report rural crime as non-reporting is a serious problem. Those surveyed by the Countryside Alliance felt it was either a waste of their time to report crime or that the police would not be able to do anything. It should be made easier for people to report crimes, and when they are reported, they must be taken seriously by the police. Working with their force and local communities, PCCs can ensure the message of “reporting every crime” is understood by all communities and acted upon. 

Finally, we call upon PCCs to support dedicated rural crime teams. A single point of contact in the community through rural crime teams adds confidence that reported crimes will be investigated with the full impact on the rural community understood. Many forces have already set up a dedicated team but PCCs must ensure the funding for them continues. If there is no dedicated team, they should provide their full support and funding for one to be set up. 

The Countryside Alliance calls upon Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to: 

  • Overhaul the way police prioritise rural crime. 
  • Support dedicated rural crime teams. 
  • Ensure the police take rural crime seriously. 
  • Rebuild trust between rural communities and the police. 
  • Encourage rural communities to report rural crime. 
  • Target police resources better.

The Countryside Alliance will be sending our manifesto out to all candidates. We will be making the case for how rural crime impacts countryside communities and asking them to tackle this growing problem. However, we also need your help and are asking you to take action and contact your local candidates, asking them how they will tackle rural crime in your community.  

Crime is a key issue for rural communities and PCCs must recognise that tackling crime and increasing police visibility is a priority for the rural electorate. If you can do one thing this year to help improve your community, that is to vote in the PCC elections for a candidate who understands the impact crime has on the countryside. 

Actions you can take

Please contact your local candidates and ask them how they will improve your community and tackle the increasing problem of rural crime. Please send any responses you receive to

You can find out who your candidates are here.


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