The results show that one in four did not bother reporting crimes and that 47 per cent of those surveyed thought the police did not take rural crime seriously.
NRCN Chair Julia Mulligan reacted to the report:
“The Countryside Alliance’s findings echo what we found when we asked rural communities for their experiences of crime and its impact in 2018. It is disappointing and frustrating that so little progress has been made in these two years and much of that is down to the fact that nationally – from government to policing to the justice system – there continues to be too little focus on the specific needs of the countryside.
“Those in positions of power still like to portray rural Britain as an idyllic place where there is no crime and nothing to worry about. This could not be further from the truth. Fly-tipping, theft of machinery and wildlife crimes like poaching and rustling not only create fear and frustrating but have a significant impact on livelihoods – if a tractor is stolen, crops can’t be harvested; if rubbish is dumped on your land, the landowner has to pay to clear it; if fencing is damaged, the farmer’s animals can escape.
“In some areas there has been progress and Rural Crime Teams have been set up to focus on these offences. We need more of them, and for policing in rural areas to be better funded to reflect the unique nature of these sparsely-populated areas.
“We need action and we need it now. We fully support the recommendations of the Countryside Alliance which all come down to the basic point – that crime in rural areas is serious, and it deserves to be taken seriously.”