STAFFORDSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis told Tamworth farmers that new mobile technology will boost police visibility in rural communities across the county.
Mr Ellis was the guest speaker at the National Farmers’ Union AGM in Lichfield on Tuesday night, 10 November.
He outlined the challenges faced and progress made in policing in Staffordshire including the ongoing roll-out of new smartphone and tablet technology to all officers and PCSOs.
The Commissioner said: “It was fantastic to talk to Tamworth farmers at their AGM, to answer their questions and debate the issues that matter to them.
“Visibility of policing in rural communities is really important. Over the next 12 months, police visibility will rise because of the ongoing roll-out of new technology to all officers.
“It’s about getting police officers out of stations and back into communities. When fully bedded in, this technology will help free up an extra 250,000 hours of police time to be out on the beat a year which is the equivalent of an extra 100 officers on duty.”
David Lane, Chairman of the Lichfield, Rugeley and Tamworth NFU Branch, added: “Rural crime has been a major concern for many of our members in recent years. Farmers and others living in the countryside will welcome the use of new technologies and an increased police presence in rural areas to provide a more effective policing service and to reduce the level of rural crime.”
Work to tackle business crime in the countryside and elsewhere is also a key priority for Mr Ellis and his deputy PCC Sue Arnold. Businesses can sign up for free Business Crime Alerts now at http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/business/
Mr Ellis also spoke about the progress made by Staffordshire Police in tackling rural crime which has seen rural crime fall by over 50 per cent in 2015 through concerted efforts to tackle issues like quad bike thefts and deer poaching. Rural crime cost businesses in Staffordshire almost £30,000 in the first ten months of this year.
People who live in rural communities in Staffordshire can have their say on how crime affects them now at http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/have-your-say/