David Munro, Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner was on hand this week to discuss rural policing issues in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Taking time out of his busy schedule he met with the Surrey Hills Board and local parish council representatives to look at issues that affect the Surrey Hills.
Of particular interest to the group was to raise the issue of HGVs travelling through the Surrey Hills and causing damage to country lanes and historic buildings in such villages as Shere, rather than keeping to the principal highways. Another concern was the issue of illegal Off Road motorised vehicles causing damage to ancient byways.
Councillor David Wright, Chairman of the Surrey Hills Board comments;
“We were delighted to have a visit from David Munro and thank him for his time. The role of the Surrey Hills Board is to safeguard this unique and special area for future generations and to work in partnership with Surrey Police and local communities on rural issues. The Surrey Hills Board have successfully established working groups to tackle such issues as Off Road vehicles inappropriately accessing the Surrey Hills as well as working with Surrey Highways to reduce signage clutter and keep the rural character of our country lanes”.
The Surrey Hills Board have worked successfully with Surrey Police in the past helping to fund two off road motorbikes so that rural police officers can effectively patrol the harder to access areas of the Surrey Hills. This partnership saw the Mole Valley off road motorbike team secure more than 12 prosecutions, hand out 20-30 warnings, make over 100 engagements with off road drivers/riders and achieve many vehicle crushings.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro said: “The Surrey Hills are a beautiful and important part of our county for both the people living there and the many visitors it attracts.
“One of the six key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is based around rural policing in which I set out my commitment to ensure there is a good dialogue between the police and our communities in those areas.
“So today’s meeting was extremely useful in giving me the opportunity to discuss in detail those issues affecting our rural communities and where policing can help make a difference.”