After the National Rural Crime Survey launched yesterday, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has urged people in provincial locations to have their say.
Aiming to gauge public perceptions of rural policing and views on crime and anti-social behaviour, the survey will also focus on the impact of crime to households and businesses in provincial communities, and with previous surveys suggesting rural crime is under-reported, this year will look at understanding why and how to increase the reporting of said crimes.
"Since 2010, Lancashire Constabulary have had to make savings of almost £84 million a year which has resulted in the loss of around 800 officers," said Commissioner Grunshaw. "This has meant a lot of changes to the way we deliver the service but we still need to get a clear picture of the experiences of crime and policing in our rural communities to allocate resources according to the demands across the whole county."
The survey will also seek the opinion of Lancashire's residents on how they would like to see police interact with them and help keep communities safe, with the commissioner adding: "This survey is all about ensuring members of our rural communities get their voices heard. I want to know more about the sorts of crime people are experiencing, whether they are reporting it to the police, as well as how they want to engage.
"Previous surveys have suggested that crime in rural areas is under-reported and I want to understand if this is the case in Lancashire and if it is, why," he added. "Protecting rural communities is as much a priority for me as it is policing our more urban towns and cities and I hope residents will take the time to complete this survey to further add to the police's understanding of the personal, social and economic cost of rural crime."
The survey will be run through the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), which is made up of 28 Police and Crime Commissioners including Lancashire as well as police forces across the country and other organisations with links to rural issues.
The NRCN Chair, Julia Mulligan, said: “The aim of the National Rural Crime Network is to see greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural communities so more can be done to help them be safe – and feel safe.
"In order to achieve that, we need to know the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour that residents and businesses face," she added.