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Fight against rural crime needs more effort from police, says NFU

Police forces have been called upon to devote more resources to combat rural crime.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Fight against #ruralcrime needs more effort from police, says NFU

NFU South West pushed for the pledge after its survey highlighted around 20 per cent of its 200 members who completed the survey had difficulty reporting a crime.

 

When they did, they thought ‘insufficient action’ was taken.

 

Melanie Squires, regional director of South West NFU, said farmers were left ‘frustrated’ but said a lack of reporting of rural crime did not help their case.


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Police response to rural crime

  • 29 per cent of farmers said officers had taken sufficient action
  • 21 per cent felt they had not
  • More than half the respondent said they felt police dedicated ‘insufficient resources’ to tackle rural crime in their county
source: NFU South West

She said: “I know that this is one of the most frustrating issues faced by farmers, but it is very important that everyone who experiences a crime reports it, so police forces have an accurate record of how much crime is taking place and whereabouts it is.

 

 

“This will help demonstrate the scale of the problem and will support us when it comes to arguing for more police resources to be allocated to rural areas.”

 

The survey found the four most common offences farmers faced were fly-tipping, trespass, poaching and theft.

 

Massive impact

The average cost to a farmer of each crime reported was nearly £3,000 with the total cost of the crimes covered by the survey totalling at just under £247,000.

 

But nearly a quarter of those who responded to the survey said they had never bothered reporting an incident of crime at all.

 

“Crime is having a massive impact on the countryside,” NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Tim Price added.

 

“Sadly thieves never go away – if security is improved in one area, they look for other targets – that is why we are working closely with the NFU and police to help farmers and country people stay one step ahead of the criminals.”

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