Victims of rural crime in Nottinghamshire will receive even more support after a £100,000 grant scheme was launched today (Thursday 26 January).
Charities and organisations are now being urged to bid for a share of the funding and show how they would use it to help make the county’s rural communities safer.
The funding is from Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry’s Make Notts Safe Fund and is part of her commitment to “levelling up” the response to rural crime – which can have a significant impact on victims.
It follows the recent announcement that Commissioner Henry has also provided £200,000 for a project to provide free security equipment for victims of rural crime across Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, including the creation of a new dedicated rural crime prevention officer role.
“We know that rural crime is a huge issue affecting some of our most vulnerable and isolated communities in Nottinghamshire – and one that so often goes overlooked,” said Commissioner Henry.
“I am committed to ‘levelling up’ our response to rural crime in Nottinghamshire, with a view to improving public confidence in the police, victim satisfaction and our knowledge and understanding of the issues affecting rural communities.
“I have already invested in improving Nottinghamshire Police’s rural crime offer, including new vehicles and equipment and training for control room staff – but I now want to enlist the support of the wider community to have a rounded partnership approach.
“That is why I am today launching this dedicated rural crime grant scheme through the Make Notts Safe Fund – allowing organisations to bid for funding to help support the response to rural crime.”
Rural crime can range from theft of high-value tractors and farm machinery to livestock worrying offences, fuel theft, fly-tipping, poaching, hare coursing and equine crime.
A wide range of other crime and antisocial behaviour issues are also known to disproportionately impact upon rural communities, including anti-social use of off-road vehicles, arson, heritage crime, fly-grazing and wildlife crimes. Rural isolation can also compound the impact of many personally targeted crimes such as domestic and sexual abuse.
Commissioner Henry is seeking to fund projects and initiatives that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Crime prevention projects to reduce the risk of rural crime either via physical crime prevention measures or through the dissemination of information and advice.
- Community engagement activity to increase trust and confidence in the police among rural communities and improve confidence or opportunities to report crime and antisocial behaviour.
- Education and professional development to better equip police and practitioners in understanding the issues and needs of rural communities.
- Work with Notts Victim CARE to ensure rural victims are able to access support services.
Multi-year funding is available, with up to £100,000 to be allocated between April 2023 and March 2025 to tackle rural crime across Nottinghamshire.
Interested organisations are urged to act fast as applications close on 26 February, with successful applicants set to be informed by the end of March.
Representatives from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire today visited a meeting of Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, a group which aims to raise the voice of the rural community, to engage with members and aware of the grant scheme.
Chief Inspector Heather Maelor is Nottinghamshire Police’s lead for rural crime.
She said: “Since the launch of the Rural Crime Plan in January 2022, we have made significant steps around improving our response to rural crime.
“This grant scheme is a great opportunity for partners who are close to the rural community to get involved in delivering some long-term, sustainable improvements to help tackle rural crime.”
Andy Guy, Nottinghamshire County Adviser for the National Farmers Union, said: “The National Farmers Union is the leading organisation representing the needs of nearly 600 farming businesses in Nottinghamshire.
“One of the biggest problems our members face is the plague of crime which cost many businesses tens of thousands of pounds, damages the countryside and even leaves some farming families afraid to go out of their homes after dark. Everything from illegal hare coursing and livestock worrying to the theft of tractors and machinery.
“I welcome this new grant and will certainly be encouraging our members to use it to help protect their homes, farms and businesses from the criminals who are causing so much damage.”