The Yorkshire Post says: Rural communities left in despair over crime

Living in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside has many advantages but life is far from the simple rural idyll of popular imagination - particularly when it comes to the issue of crime.

North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.
North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.

Just like the residents of cities and towns across the country, many people living in rural communities are victims of crime all too frequently.

A new survey by the National Rural Crime Network has highlighted the extent of the problem with ailing confidence in the police resulting in the number of crimes going unreported rising by a third among rural residents and two-thirds by businesses since 2015.

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Farmers are feeling particularly singled out as targets for criminals, while more widely, only 27 per cent of those surveyed said they believe the police are doing a good job - a fall of 11 per cent on the figure three years ago.

While the Home Office insists police spending is increasing, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and chairman of the National Rural Crime Network, says there is growing anger about “substandard” and under-funded services.

There clearly needs to be a better understanding that rural communities are not simple safe, prosperous places that require little police attention and funding.

Having the right support and systems in place will allow hard-working frontline officers to deliver what is undoubtedly the most effective way of ensuring rural victims feel they will be taken seriously and it is worth their while reporting crimes against them - bringing offenders to justice.