This has been underlined by the results of the NRCN National Rural Crime Survey which showed that farmers were one of the groups most affected and feeling most vulnerable. Following the launch of our Combatting Rural Crime report, the NFU has raised these issues with government (Defra, the Home Office & the Ministry of Justice), Police & Crime Commissioners & Chief Constables.
We are asking for a consistent and coordinated approach from all parts of the criminal justice system to rural crime, an aim shared with the NRCN and the NFU are delighted to represent the farming community on the Executive Board of the NRCN
When putting together the report the NFU consulted with a range of our farming members and staff, and one of the issues that came up loud and clear was that rural crime is under reported. There are several reasons for this, including difficulties with the 101 system, but the big issue that has a huge impact on remote farming communities is the violence & intimidation they suffer from criminals who don’t want their activities reported to the police.
We discussed these issues with Crimestoppers and came up with the idea of a Rural Crime Reporting Service to help rural communities and others report information about crimes anonymously. More information can be found here and the rural crimes we are targeting are:
- Large-scale, industrial fly-tipping
- Hare coursing
- Livestock theft
- Machinery theft
These crimes have a massive impact on farmers and their families, but can also involve environmental damage, animal cruelty, illegal gambling and food safety.
The NFU & Crimestoppers see that it is vital to work with all NRCN members to ensure we can promote this service to all rural communities.
To report information about a rural crime there is a dedicated Crimestoppers number 0800 7830137 and an online form at www.ruralreportingline.uk
By Sam Durham, Chief Land Management Adviser at the NFU. Sam can be found on Twitter @SamD_UK