PCC Katy Bourne is determined that rural communities should not feel abandoned when they try to report crime. This is why, among the 100 extra Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) promised in this year’s precept rise, a small team have been allocated to specifically target rural crime. A year on from the launch of the Rural Crime Strategy, on Monday (7th October) they began their training.
The trainees, who are already experienced PCSOs, are set to join districts across Sussex where they will work as a dedicated team, led by Rural Crime Sergeant Tom Carter.
Rural Crime PSCOs Erica Baxter, Olivia Clinton and Julie Pearce Martin were joined on their first day of training at Blackcap Farm in Lewes by Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Sergeant Tom Carter and National Farming Union (NFU) rep, Romy Jackson.
Mrs Bourne comments: “Tackling crime and building public confidence in rural areas across Sussex has always been one of my top priorities. From regular meetings with senior officers and the NFU I’m aware of how isolated farmers can feel, especially in a large county where available police resources may be some distance away.
“This is why I am delighted to now launch this team of dedicated, rurally trained PCSOs who will work not only to tackle crime but also to raise the profile of how farming communities are affected. Our local farmers and rural residents will soon have a PCSO in their area with the specific training needed to understand their concerns and the skills to address them properly.”