NFU president Minette Batters will call on police forces for a joined-up approach to prevent making the countryside a ‘soft target’.
NFU president Minette Batters is set to shine a light on the dampening impact of rural crime in a meeting urging national police constables to avoid making the countryside a ‘soft target’.
Speaking ahead of the meeting with the National Police Chiefs Council tomorrow (April 18), Mrs Batters said the union wanted to clamp down on such activity through a ‘consistent and coordinated’ approach.
She said the NFU was continuing its push on local police forces to enforce a dedicated rural crime team and help the upkeep of proper policing efforts in the countryside.
“All manner of rural crimes, whether it is hare coursing, fly-tipping or theft, severely impact farm businesses and rural communities,” Mrs Batters said.
“Not only does it have economic consequences but these criminals also bring threats, violence and intimidation to the countryside.
“It is crucial that there is a joined-up approach to tackle this issue and that is why the NFU is the leading farming organisation representing its members in the fight against rural crime.
“Engaging with police chiefs, in particular through the National Wildlife Crime Unit, is a prime example of this work and making those at the front line aware of the real cost of crime to farm businesses is essential.
“It has been almost a year since the NFU released its Combatting Rural Crime report and laid out its asks of government, and we have yet to see any concrete action being taken. It is absolutely vital that this changes to protect our countryside from being a soft target for criminals.
“A cross-departmental task force would be a step in the right direction to show that all aspects of government are taking this issue extremely seriously.”