PEOPLE living in Northumbria’s rural communities are being asked to share their views on how to fight crime and prevent crime as part of a new survey launched online by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness last week.
The survey is the key feature behind a new plan setting out what Northumbria Police should focus on in the years ahead.
Whether you’re a full-time mum, local farmer, or help out at a local community group, Kim wants to know what the big issues are for you, and wants to make sure those living in Northumbria’s vast countryside have their say.
Northumbria Police serves a wide range of areas, all with unique challenges and rural crime is known to have a devastating effect on rural communities – its people and its businesses too.
Farm equipment, livestock thefts and sheep worrying are all typical crimes known to impact those living in rural areas but Kim wants to make sure issues like domestic abuse and violence aren’t hidden crimes that get forgotten in the remote parts of our region too.
Kim wants to make sure we get as many views as possible from throughout Northumberland – this will then shape a new Police and Crime Plan outlining what the force should focus on to ensure Northumbria stays one of the safest regions in the country.
Since being elected in July 2019, one of Kim’s top priorities has been police officer recruitment and getting officers out on the streets, fighting crime and keeping everyone safe. As a result of this, the force’s latest recruitment drive has seen more than 300 officers hired since lockdown.
The past year has also seen the Commissioner establish a Violence Reduction Unit which is working hard to improve lives and prevent crime and has helped towards an 18 per cent reduction in knife crime in the area before the start of the national lockdown.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Our policing needs are constantly evolving and after ten years of austerity it’s important we take a good, hard look at our police force and think about the needs and the expectations that people have of the service and I want to make sure we are shining the light on what matters to those living in the more remote parts of our region. I want a really clear picture of how things are so we can look at how things can be improved.
“What really matters here is that you have your say. If it’s cutting down anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, reducing violence in our region, getting more police on our streets or a creating a future for our young people, this is the time to make it happen.”
To help get as many views as possible, Kim had also planned to take an engagement bus on tour over the coming months to meet lots of people to learn more about policing and community needs across the force area. For now, this has been postponed while the region adjusts to local lockdown, and will be re-launched once public health advice on how best to engage face to face has been considered.
When safe to do so, the whereabouts of the ‘Fighting Crime, Preventing Crime’ survey bus will be publicised on the Commissioner’s website and across her social media channels.
Kim said: “In the current climate, I can’t invite people to town halls or community centres so this is why I’m looking at taking a bus out to meet local people out in the open, touring the entire region and speaking to as many people as possible with social distancing maintained and face masks at the ready. Hopefully we’ll get the green light on this soon.
“Thankfully Northumbria is one of the safest areas in the country and I’m proud of our police force, but of course there are things we can do better. This consultation will allow us to say what needs improving and what we need to see more of. I want to hear the good, the bad, and I welcome new ideas too, it will all help our work to fight crime, prevent crime and improve lives in our region.”
Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “It’s important people have their say on the things that affect them and policing is no exception.
“While we live in a low-crime area there are still issues which impact on both our rural and ur-ban areas. By getting involved in this consultation residents can help further improve the po-lice service in the county.”

People can respond to the survey online by visiting The consultation closes on Friday 27 November.