We will do so in the following ways:
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We will communicate accurately, effectively and in a timely manner, with all rural communities. This will be a genuine dialogue, a two way process, and not merely a way for the Police to give out our chosen messages.
Together with partners we will improve how we prevent and detect crime in rural areas.
We will measure our performance in terms of how we prevent and detect rural crime so that our efforts are always accountable and transparent.
We will ensure formal bodies, such as the NFU (National Farmers Union) and Neighbourhood Watch, are involved at all times, along with Parish Councils and local arrangements such as rural forums, and community groups.
We will improve training and equipment provided to our rural officers, staff, and volunteers.
We will plan engagement with rural communities continuously and consistently and also create a county-wide rural calendar of rural events at which we will be accessible and visible.
It is clear that public confidence is directly affected by how the criminal justice system deals with victims and witnesses. We aim to be victim-focussed in our response and investigation efforts.
In February 2015, Northamptonshire Police launched its mounted volunteer’s scheme. The project sees regular horse riders asked to keep an eye out for problems in rural areas and report any issues back to the police.
So far, all the volunteers have passed the British Horse Society road safety exams they need to take before becoming volunteers and a number are taking part in regular rides.
Riders who take part in the scheme are all 18 and over and provide their own horses. While they are out on their regular rides, they wear an equestrian jacket featuring the police logo to identify them as volunteers.
They are not given patrol routes or asked to confront people they see breaking the law.
Instead, they are asked to keep an eye out for problems as they ride along lanes, bridleways and paths in the countryside and report any issues they see to the police.
It is hoped their presence will also have an impact on motorists in rural areas who will be encouraged to slow down by the presence of uniformed riders.
Lower Catesby resident Adelaide Thomson decided to become a mounted volunteer in the Catesby, Hellidon and Staverton area to give something back to the community.
"I’ve had lovely complements from the people I’ve met out riding, commending me for doing such a good thing for the community.
I’ve also noticed that drivers have been passing me on the road much more safely, which is a brilliant outcome."
The RIV team aim to tackle crime, improve community safety and the quality of life for residents. This includes working with the community to deal with ongoing local issues, gathering intelligence and identifying potential crime and fire risks, assessing and supporting incidents such as minor fires and road traffic collisions, as well as carrying out high-visibility patrols in crime hotspot areas, giving fire and personal safety talks to schools and community groups and visiting farms and local businesses to discuss concerns and offer crime and fire prevention advice.
After initially starting in the rural areas around Oundle in Northamptonshire, with one vehicle, the force has started trailing a second after the success of the first. Highly visible, the vehicle is operated by a fire officer and police officer, capable of responding to a wide range of calls. The team is also trained in first aid, allowing them to help with medical emergencies as well.
In the future, the vehicle will also carry a drone, to help in searches for missing people.
PC John Vjestica, who operates one vehicle with fire watch manager Justin Abbott, explains the vehicle is not aimed at replacing ambulances and fire engines.
He added that the vehicle has proven extremely popular with communities, as it has a big visible presence so reminds those in villages – and criminals considering crimes in those villages – that there is a Police presence.
A specialist Police team has been created to target organised crime gangs who operate on and around Northamptonshire’s borders.
For the first time, specialist cross-border officers are tackling criminals who operate on the fringes of Northamptonshire in the belief that the rural location will help them evade capture.
The pioneering project sees officers from Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, the British Transport Police as well as other organisations such as the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Trading Standards work together to make sure criminal activity around the borders of Northamptonshire does not slip through the net.
Superintendent Andy Cox from Northamptonshire Police said: "Parts of east Northamptonshire in particular have, for a number of years, suffered from roaming organised crime gangs who do not see our county borders as boundaries, they see them as an area where they believe they can avoid detection by individual Police forces.
"Our new cross border team works to make sure that is not the case by staging regular operations to target known criminals and using the latest technology to track down criminal activity.
Despite crime rates falling nationally, Police intelligence shows that criminals still actively target the borders around different counties in the belief that these areas will not be Policed as actively as large towns and cities.
To help track down such offenders, officers in the new cross border team have access to automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to allow them to spot known criminals as they drive into Northamptonshire.
They have also been issued with the latest mobile computer technology, meaning they can stay out on the roads for longer and maintain high visibility patrols on the main routes into and out of the county.
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