Countryside Alliance Encourages Continued Reporting of Rural Crimes

1 March 2023

Crime has always been a key issue throughout the countryside and indeed when we talk to those who live and work in rural communities, rural crime is nearly always top of that list. Following the publication of its 2022 Rural Crime Survey, the Countryside Alliance urges those living in rural areas to keep reporting crime – even if it feels futile – as it helps the local police forces build a clearer picture of problems and how to tackle them.

Over the years our annual Rural Crime Survey has shown that those living and working in rural communities often feel that the police do not take rural crime seriously despite it rising up the national agenda over the last few years. It is clear from the survey results that there is a lot to do in tackling rural crime, working with communities to ensure the impact of it is lessened, and the crime problems rural communities face.

The survey, published last month, revealed that 97% of the 2,016 people who took part said that rural crime was a “significant” issue in their community. A total of 49% did not think police take rural crime seriously, and 63% of those who did not report crime they experienced to police said they did not do so because “it was a waste of time”.

“Rural communities have for a long time been resigned to the fact they will receive a poorer level of response from the police when they have a crime committed against them and this is just unacceptable,” said Sarah Lee, CA director of policy.

“However, it comes against a backdrop of increasing and competing pressures on rural police forces, who are themselves facing challenges around funding.”

She added that as the review of the police funding formula gets under way this year, the CA is “urgently” calling on the Government to “level up rural policing, by increasing funding and resources”.

The most common crimes experienced by those polled were fly-tipping, agricultural machinery theft and trespassing, with other frequent offences including hare poaching and actions relating to animal rights activism.

Many respondents also claimed they had been forced to install crime prevention measures such as security lights, CCTV,  extra security on vehicles, while others have opted for buying guard dogs due to an “increased fear” of crime.

You can read the survey and its findings here: Countryside Alliance Rural Crime Survey 2022

You can also find equestrian specific guidance and support on the Yard Owner Hub in terms of keeping your yard safe and secure, and considerations for prevention against rural crimes.

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