RURAL residents and workers are being asked to contribute to a survey about crime and anti-social behaviour.

The last National Rural Crime Survey in 2015 revealed the nationwide cost of crime to the economy was £800 million per year.

Since then Essex Police has introduced a rural crime strategy and a specific team to deal with countryside issues and are now encouraging people to contribute to the latest survey which will help shape future priorities.

Deputy police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex Jane Gardner said: "Tackling rural crime is a key priority within our police and crime plan.

"We know rural communities are often isolated and at risks of specific types of crime such as hare coursing, theft, burglary or fly-tipping.

"In Essex we are fortunate to have active and engaged rural communities who work with us and alongside Essex Police to report and help prevent crime.

"Together, we have been working to get better visibility of crime in rural communities, to understand what is important to local people and agree how we will tackle this together."

Chief Insp Ian Gennery of the gypsy, traveller and rural engagement team said: "We have seen a significant increase in the number and scope of proactive preventative police operations across Essex.

"These bring together rural communities, local policing teams and specialist officers to crack down on rural crime.

"This survey is a great way to get further engagement from the rural community and identify areas for us to focus on in the future."

The survey is available at and is open until June 10.