New plan to tackle rural crime and poverty

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has launched an initiative which will focus on austerity and its impacts.

By Joshua Wright
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2022, 11:51 am
Northumbria Police and Crime Comissioner, Kim McGuinness, visits a farm.
Northumbria Police and Crime Comissioner, Kim McGuinness, visits a farm.

The ‘Fighting Poverty, Fighting Crime’ plan is the first Police and Crime Plan of its kind to put the spotlight on poverty when dealing with crime. It focuses on reducing crime by boosting job and youth opportunities for the region as a crucial way of supporting operational policing.

The new approach covers the whole force area – all of which is impacted by poverty, including the rural communities – from Gateshead in the south to Wooler in the north.

The Commissioner has spoken out about rural poverty across the North East as she outlines how plans to tackle it will help reduce crime.

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She said: “Issues of poverty and disadvantage apply to our whole region. I know of farmers using food banks too.

“People think of Northumberland and they think of the idyllic views, but we must not let that blind us to hardship or crime for that matter. Bus routes, youth clubs, libraries – they’ve taken hit after hit and this has consequences.

“And so I am making it my business to tackle deep-rooted poverty in our region, and that’s both urban and rural poverty, because for far too long the Government has simply not cared; well I do.”

She added: “Far too many families aren’t living; they are surviving. And, it’s sad but it’s true, that the more deprived an area is, the more crime there is.

“I want there to be less victims of crime so we have to take this on. Reducing poverty is the place to start.”