Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey MP has welcomed news that crime in Somerset has fallen by 12% since 2010, but believes more must be done to protect local communities.

Mr Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s great news that nationally we’ve seen crime cut by over 32% to its lowest level ever, however, the picture locally is slightly deceptive.”

“Whilst recorded crime has dropped, the figures released by the National Rural Crime Network suggest that in rural communities fear of crime is 20% higher and satisfaction with policing is 24% lower.”

“This has resulted in over 25% of crimes in rural areas going unreported. Additionally, the average cost of crime for a rural household is over £2,500 and over £4,000 for a rural business.”

“Whilst the Farm Watch initiative is to be commended, more must be done to tackle this scourge of the countryside. Our farmers already have it hard enough and yet they are too often the victims of petty theft.”

He added: “In the Police and Crime Commissioner elections it is so important that Somerset makes itself heard. Rural crime needs to be a priority for Avon and Somerset Police and we need a PCC who will make sure that happens.”