Crime and the fear of crime are of high concern to most residents. Living in a place where you feel safe is an important part of having a good quality of life. The impact of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) on victims and communities can be greater in rural areas where there are fewer local amenities and support services and people can feel more isolated and vulnerable.

Residents who live in rural areas often consider that they have a lack of Police presence. Crime reported in rural areas tends to be lower, however the impact on residents can be worse due to a number of factors, living remotely adding to a sense of isolation being a key one. Crime types are becoming more diverse, and whilst crimes such as domestic abuse, cyber-crime and sexual offences take place in both rural and urban communities, there are crimes such as livestock theft and poaching that are specific to rural communities.

The NRCN (National Rural Crime Network) Rural Crime Survey of 2018, highlighted that some of the most common concerns are not solely policing matters, but include issues like fly-tipping and speeding.

Crime Prevention is about the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk, and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it. It is an active approach utilising public awareness and preventive measures to reduce crime. We all have a role to play in making our communities safer, friendlier and more liveable.

To coincide with Rural Crime Week of Action, 6th – 13th October 2019, Colchester Borough Council in collaboration with the Safer Colchester Partnership launched their Safer Rural Communities Toolkit and Safer Rural Communities Fund.

The toolkit provides ideas, information and resources to help you make your neighbourhood a better place to live. It will help you identify what the problems are, how you can go about addressing them, preventative measures and some possible funding sources.

The Safer Rural Communities Fund supports the toolkit and is available to assist communities in the delivery of projects and initiatives that address community safety. The fund invites applications from not for profit groups such as: Registered voluntary and charitable organisations, community groups, tenants and resident groups, faith groups, housing associations, sports organisations and Parish and Town councils within the following rural communities:

  • Wivenhoe
  • Mersea and Pyefleet
  • Rural North
  • Tiptree

To check eligibility and complete an application form, please click here.