CONCERNS have been raised about lack of policing in rural areas after raiders smashed a village shop with a digger.
The front of the Co-op store in Fenny Compton was completely ripped away before thieves made off with the cash machine on Tuesday morning (June 25).
It is the second ATM raid in the district this year after a digger ploughed into another Co-op in Shipston in February.
And it is not just raids which have raised concerns among rural communities.
A savage crossbow attack on two calves in a Rugby village left one dead and the other injured last week.
Stratford District councillor Jacqui Harris, who lives in Fenny Compton, has accused police of prioritising towns over rural areas and says it took a long time for officers to respond to the ATM attack.
She told the Observer: “I understand why we have few police and it will take time to get the new recruits through to patrol in Warwickshire, our concern is more than that. We want a presence and a strategic response to lack of policing in the rural areas.
“It is known in the community that most areas – at night especially – are not policed and it will take 30 minutes for a response.
“We want a strategic response from Warwickshire Police and for them to work in partnership with other forces to ensure we have a service in this part of the district and not left to fall through the cracks.”
But Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe insisted rural communities remained a priority.
He said: “The issue of ATM thefts is one that is happening across the country and is often being coordinated by organised crime groups who come from outside county. it is important police forces work together to identify and disrupt these criminal gangs.
“Tackling rural crime remains one of my priorities, as does boosting the levels of policing in our county.”
He added there would be 150 more officers recruited by the end of the year, as well as Police Community Support Officers and a specialist team tackling crime in rural areas.
Anyone with information about the recent ramraid and crossbow attack should call police on 101.