Whilst our villages are great places to live, work and visit, something needs to be done about rural crime. That’s according to local campaigner, Lisa Spivey.
Lisa has been increasingly concerned after a spate of high profile burglaries including at residential properties in Ampney Crucis and Meysey Hampton, as well as Down Ampney Football Club and Performance Cycles in Poulton.
Lisa commented: “Anyone who has been a victim of crime such as a burglary knows how intrusive and upsetting it can be. It saddens me that talking to some residents they don’t feel safe in their own homes. Whilst crime remains low in our area these recent incidents highlight that we can always do more to help prevent it happening.
Our local police officers do a fantastic job with extremely stretched resources. Thanks to the Conservative government’s funding cuts there are now nearly 250 fewer PCs in Gloucestershire than 10 years ago and the numbers of police community support officers (PCSOs) have reduced by 16% since 2013.”
I will continue to lobby our local Conservative MP to free up funding for rural police and I’m planning on writing to the local police and crime commissioner to see what can be done in the short term.
The District Council also need to be more proactive in helping rural communities access information on how we can help reduce crime in our villages. I’d like to see the Council working with Neighbourhood Watch Groups, the Police and Parish Councils to draw up plans to help combat rural crime.
Of course, crime doesn’t occur for no reason, and again, the Conservative government’s austerity measures over the last 8 years have meant that in some cases people have turned to crime as a means to an end. Continuous cuts to funding for vital community projects, especially for the youth, mean that it’s easier for young people to fall into patterns of unlawful behaviour. We must reverse this practice, for all of our sakes.”