Every crime hurts our communities; I will take a zero-tolerance approach.
I want to see police more focused on rural areas, not just urban centres and for organised rural crime to be recognised as such – so it can be combatted effectively.
Our Police also deserve to be better equipped to tackle our concerns locally, and I will always support giving them the equipment they need and legal frameworks to tackle criminality and that we get our share of Police Officers from the Government's recruitment drive.
To support us locally I will work for tougher sentences for fly-tipping and will support Police to crack down on anti-social behaviour and fraudsters and to introduce civil injunctions to stop hare coursing. I also want to see tougher legislation around trespassing to prevent unauthorised activities on private land.
I support the Prime Minister's efforts to rehabilitate offenders but ensure sentences are fitting. I also want tougher sentences for prisoners who attack prison officers, and for those imprisoned for terror and sexual offences, and offences against children.
I welcome news that Leicestershire and Rutland Police has been joined by an additional 89 officers since the Government launched its major police recruitment drive a year ago.
Each of these officers will make a difference in cutting crime locally and protecting our communities. These extra officers are especially welcome as we approach the winter months and opportunistic criminals seek to exploit the increased hours of darkness.
Following the NFU Mutual’s Rural Crime Report, I wrote an article for Conservative Home calling on the Government to focus some of its unprecedented police investment on tackling rural crime.
In my article I called for:
- The Plant and Agriculture National Intelligence Unit to be incorporated into our policing efforts so we can utilise the latest tracking data.
- The approach to rural crime to be levelled up and standardised across the whole of the UK.
- The UK Border Agency to play a more active role in combatting rural crime – backed with substantial investment.
- Bespoke rural crime training for 111 and 999 operators.
- Investment in mental health in rural areas so victims can be supported.
I was delighted to secure a Westminster Hall Debate on Organised Crime in Rural Areas and press the Government to introduce more stringent measures to combat organised rural crime and support those affected by it.
I called for:
- The Government to create a dedicated Rural Crime Unit.
- The UK Border Agency to undertake a review into its role in tackling rural crime, given that much of the proceeds of rural crime end up within mainland Europe.
- Develop a specific training programme on rural crime for 111 and 999 operators to ensure rural communities, especially farmers, are always taken seriously.
This was an important step in highlighting the issue of organised rural crime to Government.
I was pleased to speak in the Policing and Crime Debate and champion the need to combat organised rural crime and fly tipping on behalf of our areas’ more than 150 villages.
I highlighted to the chamber the huge economic and mental health impact of organised rural crime particularly on farmers, who not only have to replace hugely expensive equipment, but deal with both their home and businesses being broken into.
I called for enhanced work in tracking and identifying the organised crime networks responsible for many thefts locally to ensure residents are getting the most out of their police – and prove the organised nature of local rural crime.