Published 18 April 2018

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Residents of rural Kent are being encouraged to have their say on how prevalent crime is where they live, and how they rate the police's response to it.

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), of which Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott is a member, is gathering the views and experiences of people across the country. The NRCN is interested in knowing about any crimes that have been committed against you, including ones not reported to the police.

Mr Scott is keen that as many people from rural parts of Kent take the opportunity to share their experiences.

He said:

‘I appreciate the impact that crime can have on individuals, communities and businesses, so I was concerned to read the findings of NFU Mutual’s latest report into the cost of rural crime to its customers. I would be grateful Kent residents could complete and share the National Rural Crime Network’s latest survey, so that we can get a true picture of what local people feel.’

The feedback from the survey will help influence a new Rural Affairs National Strategy, due to be launched later this year.

Mr Scott added:

‘I want to reassure residents that Kent Police and I have been taking action to prevent crime and catch criminals in rural areas.

‘This includes the extra funding I have provided for SmartWater property-marking kits, diversionary schemes for young people, and continued backing for the Countryeye app which offers a convenient way for people in rural areas to share information with the police. Thanks to my modest rise in council tax, the number of specialist rural officers in Kent Police is set to double and, to make it easier to report crime, more call handlers are being recruited to staff the phones in the Force Control Room.’

In addition to PCCs and the police, the NRCN is supported by other interested bodies including the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, Neighbourhood Watch, Crimestoppers, Historic England and the Countryside Alliance.

Mr Scott added:

‘Kent is a safe place to live, work and visit but there is always more that policing can do in partnership with these other organisations and local communities. Crime is important no matter here it takes place and, by completing the NRCN’s survey, you can help us all better understand the specific challenges you face.’