The pattern and distribution of crime in rural areas does not
easily lend itself to the conventional hot spotting and analysis
carried out in more urban areas with more volume crime.
It is important to utilise informal networks and the strength of
the voluntary and community sector such as Rural Community Councils
and Parish Councils These groups can help to identify the nature and
extent of local crime and disorder problems
The importance of using people who work in remote areas as
sources of information cannot be overstated.
Postal workers, milk deliverers, bus drivers, social services
staff, teachers, youth workers, refuse collectors, ministers of
religion and a wide variety of voluntary workers can be used to both
relay and receive messages about crime and disorder.
Police stations are a visible form of reassurance for the public,
but closure can often free up resources to maintain or improve
service delivery over-all.
The Audit Commission report Action Stations: improving the
management of the police estate,
confirmed that public demand for access to police stations has
reduced over time, particularly because of the greater use of better
All forces therefore, including those that are predominantly
rural, are likely to review regularly the number and location of
their police stations.
A recent report on Tackling Crime in Rural Scotland states: ‘The
most important resource is enthusiastic and committed volunteers or
co-ordinators..Involving local people can provide a wealth of ideas
and information. Successful projects increase public awareness of
the problem and encourage people to be more vigilant and pro-active.
Contact; Linda Sinclair; Rural Affairs & Natural Heritage,
The Scottish Office.
Tel;0131 244 7952 or visit the publications section at www.scotland.gov.uk
There are a variety of ways of determining local needs within
The Association of Councils for Rural England (ACRE) has wide
experience of using a community development approach to assessing
"Village Appraisal ‘ ‘Planning for Real" and
"Rapid Appraisal” are all effective techniques if used
Software packages and booklets giving details of these methods
are available from ACRE tel;01285 653477. www.acre.org.uk