The NFU is calling on Police and Crime Commissioners to make tackling rural crime a strategic objective all year round, following a national day of police focus on combatting crime in the countryside.
The National Police Chief’s Council on Thursday (November 8) held a national day of action on the issue, encouraging all police forces to carry out activity to combat rural crime, including issuing warrants and making arrests.
NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said that while this focus is welcome news for rural communities, tackling rural crime needs to be a strategic focus of police all year round.
He said: “The issue of rural crime is something that is bought up to me by our members at almost every meeting I attend. We have seen statistics showing that crime in the countryside is increasing and it is leaving farmers, growers and rural communities increasingly fearful.
“Not only do businesses see their machinery stolen or large-scale waste dumped on their land but they are frequently intimidated and threatened by the perpetrators. All of this can amount to serious disruption in the farm business but it also takes its toll on the farmer and their family," he said.
Mr Smith called for a year round focus on fighting rural crime, starting at the top with Police and Crime Commissioners.
In fear of crime, being let down and feeling ignored – the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey reveals rural Britain is living on the edge.
Three years on from the first survey, the 2018 results – from over 20,000 people – show that the perception of policing in rural communities is poor.