May 14, 2021 5.10 pm This story is over 14 months old

Rural crime and fly-tipping: Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones reprioritises after election

The “strength of feeling” was clear on the campaign trail

Rural crime and fly tipping will be pushed to the top of the agenda in Lincolnshire following the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Marc Jones, who was re-elected into the position on May 8, said he was aware of the issues during campaigning, but added: “nevertheless the strength of feeling around it was definitely clear, rural communities in particular, were not feeling that they got the level of policing they felt they deserved.”

“It was already in the plans […] but it has meant that in conversations with the Chief Constable I have asked whether it would be possible to prioritise that.

“I would like to see it prioritised because of the strength of feeling from the rural community, so that has had a direct impact on my thinking with that.”

He said however, he was not surprised by the support for doing more around fly-tipping and promised to work harder with partners including district council and the Environment Agency.

“We’ve really got to drive home some improvements there and make sure the community sees a real difference in the levels of fly-tipping,” said Marc.

Some of the plans already include allocating some of the newest 108 officers to new teams around policing rural crime, roads and neighbourhoods.

Mr Jones said it will take a little while to get the officers trained and kitted up, but added it would “be weeks and months, not years”.

Outlining his hopes for the force by the next election in three years, Mr Jones said: “I want it to be financially sustainable, we’ve made huge strides in that.

“I want it to have better levels of morale. I want it to have a higher level of officers than it’s got now, I want people to feel and be safer as a result of the force being in the community.”

He said it was difficult to balance bobbies on the beat, while tackling online crime but said that investing in the right technology would help ease the pressure.

Other priorities included in his election pledges include a new violence and harm reception programme and work to tackle fraud and scams

Mr Jones said he had already spoken to the government’s Home Secretary and Policing Minister about funding but repeated that it was a complicated matter trying to balance out which forces would be the losers.

“Of course I’ll push for more, but you have to be realistic about, you know, this is public money at a time when the public is very hard pressed themselves so we have to do what we can with what we’ve got as well,” he said.

He is confident, however, there will be more funding next year and has offered his “absolute commitment” to keep conversations going.

Elsewhere, Mr Jones reiterated that there was “no truth whatsoever” in pre-election rumours that discussions had taken about closing stations around the county

He also said the G4S contract transition was “moving at pace”  and he was confident staff and services would be ready for the March 2022 deadline.