Bassetlaw councillor brands crime commissioner's "u-turn" over a dedicated rural crime team a "slap in the face"
A Bassetlaw councillor has hit out at Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner over her decision not to create a dedicated team to tackle rural crime.
Jack Bowker, Blyth ward councillor on Bassetlaw District Council, said Caroline Henry’s decision not to invest cash in a dedicated rural crime team for the county was a “slap in the face.”
Mrs Henry said in August that rural communities in places like Worksop were losing their trust in Nottinghamshire Police.
She said some victims are no longer reporting incidents they don’t believe will be investigated – and more police resources should be put into tackling rural crime.
Rural crime can involve the theft of expensive farming machinery, which can cripple the livelihoods of farmers, as well as poaching and livestock offences.
Launching her draft crime plan for the next four years earlier this week, Mrs Henry said she decided not to put cash into a dedicated team.
Councillor Bowker said: “As a victim of rural crime this u-turn is a complete slap in the face.
"We were told that the commissioner had a clear plan and was going to set up a specialist team to tackle rural crime head on – now there is to be no specialist team at all.
"She has said one thing to rural communities and within weeks done the complete opposite.
"The new police and crime commissioner clearly isn’t taking rural crime seriously.
"It’s yet another Tory broken promise."
Speaking at a police and crime panel meeting on Monday, Mrs Henry said: “Rural crime has been mentioned so much to me – ‘we need a rural crime team’ but actually I could have pulled money out of reserves and formed a rural crime team – a sergeant and six (officers) – but it would not have tackled what we needed to do.
"It would have made a great picture, but not built confidence.
“I wanted to see a whole response to rural crime improving.
"We have a new rural crime lead and 25 wildlife trained officers. I know it is improving but there is more to do.”