With National Rural Crime Week beginning on Sunday, we at the Countryside Alliance want to show our commitment and support to those living and policing in rural areas, who are seemingly being left behind. This week aims to highlight the work done that identifies and tackles rural crime, as well as to muster up support for the efforts that are made to ensure that communities across rural Britain feel safe and are safe.
We will also be sharing how best to deal with certain rural crime issues. Throughout the week we will be releasing a series of guides that will help you deal with some of the most common rural crime issues including dog theft, fly-tipping, the impact of sabs, and sheep rustling, to name a few.
Rural crime has a detrimental effect on those living in the countryside and we’re concerned that the people who make up these communities don’t get the support through services that're otherwise widely available in urban areas. Acts of crime and anti-social behaviour are quickly leaving those in rural businesses and communities feeling undervalued and even more isolated, which there is simply no excuse for.
One of the most staggering figures retrieved from the results of the National Rural Crime Network’s 2018 survey, was that a mere 27% of those living in rural communities felt that their local police are doing a good job; a considerable drop from the national figure taken from the Crime Survey of England and Wales, at 62%. There is often no escape from the effects of rural crime, with the fear of crime doing just as much damage as the crimes that are committed. The emotional stress that is felt takes a toll, affecting the confidence in groups such as young people, families and farmers.
We need to ensure that the needs of our rural communities are truly understood so that the availability of services matches those needs.
- 69% of farmers and rural-specific business owners have been a victim of crime over the past 12 months.
- The average financial impact of crime on rural-specific business owners is £4,800 – 13% up on the 2015 survey.
- 48% of rural businesses said that crime has a moderate or great impact on their lives, with 30% of rural residents agreeing.
- Some of the more common concerns aren’t solely policing matters; topping the list is fly-tipping with 57% of respondents having seen evidence of it, whilst speeding is in second place at 32%.
- Despite crime being a big problem in the countryside, a lot of offences go unreported because of the belief that the police and the criminal justice system don’t properly understand the issues that they face.