I’ve now been ‘in the job’ of PCC for a year, and if there is one thing that’s been made abundantly clear to me, it’s that your confidence in policing is not where I want it to be.
Whilst there are clearly some exceptional individual officers, overall, there have been gaps in the service you receive. In the past year, I have made practical steps to address them, such as the purchasing of effective technology such as drones and ensuring more officers are deployed to the rural crime team.
The damage done by crimes such as hare coursing, criminal damage and theft have a massive impact on the rural community and history shows that at times of recession, farms become targets.
I regularly speak to farmers and I’m all too aware of the reasons why you feel that reporting crime is not worthwhile. In my Police and Crime Plan, I’ve committed to ensure Wiltshire Police takes these crimes seriously and deals with them effectively.
This is why I’ve taken steps to ensure the rural crime team has the capabilities and staffing it needs.
As part of this commitment, Wiltshire Police has introduced online crime reporting specifically for rural crime. The form takes about ten minutes and is picked up by the same people who answer 101 calls.
It’s vital that to build up an overall picture and identify patterns of criminal activity, all crime is reported, no matter how small it may seem.
As this has only recently been introduced, I welcome your feedback about how the system is working. It’s only through working together that we can stop these crimes from happening and make Wiltshire a safer place to live and work.