Rural crime; time for PCC candidates to set out their policies – The Yorkshire Post says

ELECTIONS TO determine Yorkshire’s four police and crime commissioners have been characterised by apathy since their inception in 2012. Yet the May 6 polls in North, East and South Yorkshire – and also the mayoral contest in West Yorkshire – do provide an opportunity for the public to scrutinise candidates.

Is enough attention given to rural crime by police and crime commissioners?

After all, they won’t just be expected to implement the policies of their national party; they’ll be ultimately responsible for overseeing the policy priorities of their respective constabularies.

And this includes rural crime – the subject of renewed focus by both the NFU and Countryside Alliance as they press for non-urban areas, so often preyed upon by ‘county lines’ drugs gangs and the like, to receive the policing that law-abiding residents do still have a right to expect as taxpayers.

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As the NFU’s own survey points out, 60 per cent of farmers are still taking the trouble to report offences or crimes against wildlife – even though police forces do not always make this task easy for them.

Police officers carrying out patrols to protect wildlife along the Yorkshire coast.

Yet more than half of victims say they’re reporting crimes in the expectation that they will receive no response – an unacceptable state of affairs.

However this breakdown in the relationship between the police, and public, neglects the fact that policing is at its most effective when it is a partnership with communities – whether it be inner-city areas or Yorkshire’s most rural parishes.

That’s why The Yorkshire Post, for one, looks forward to hearing from PCC candidates on how they intend to develop this partnership and, in turn, give people a positive reason to vote on May 6.

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