Headlines: November 9th, 2000

Levels of rural crime such as burglary and vehicle crime are falling, but the fear of rural crime is growing. The Home Office is urging police forces to market their fight against crime, which is much lower than in urban areas, by adopting measures which are visible to the public, as well as being effective in crime prevention and detection.A key feature of the measures the Home Office is urging on police forces is locating an officer where people congregate or at a crime hot spot. Mobile police stations are proving effective in both preventing crime and in reassuring the public that the police are both active and effective. They can be located for example on housing estates or in villages or shopping centres. Only one officer with a lap top computer is required to staff them and in addition to a small office they have a ‘cage’ for the detention of prisoners.

Another approach is to have a part time fixed base in a community centre, library, village hall or school to provide drop-in services and information. They can be staffed by a combination of regular officers, specials and volunteers.