Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has today vowed to ensure rural areas are not the poor relation to major cities and towns when it comes to tackling crime.
Mr Hogg has announced plans to make Devon and Cornwall Force the 'best rural, urban and coastal police service'.
The Commissioner is reinforcing his aim to ensure rural, urban or coastal communities are given a bigger part in policing, with no 'favourite' when it comes to allocating policing resources.
Tony Hogg said: "There are so many aspects to rural crime, and it costs private landowners, rural businesses and individual householders millions of pounds every year. It poses a real threat to the stability of our rural economy. We must understand the real impact it makes and how it seriously affects so many lives."
"There is a wide variety of crime prevalent in our rural communities. Everything from the theft of tools, fuel, metal, machinery and livestock, to fly-tipping, trespass and wildlife crime. There are many others of course, and when you add in more well publicised crimes, such as domestic and sexual abuse, alcohol and drug related crime and traffic issues, it’s is easy to understand why the careful use of resources and a well constructed rural policing strategy is so important."
The Commissioner said much work has gone into the development of this plan and he will be monitoring how well it is delivered and will be coordinating with partner agencies, private businesses, voluntary and charitable organisations and of course individual members of the community themselves.
"Rural crime costs millions of pounds each year, and I can give you an assurance that I will be working alongside Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, to reduce this significantly. The real impact goes way beyond the monetary losses, and that is why it is a major priority," the Commissioner added.