Farmers from across the UK are being urged to take five minutes to share their experiences of the policing response to rural crime.
A number of dedicated rural crime teams have been set up by police in recent years to deal with incidences of crime in rural areas.
The survey, available on the Harper Adams website, asks people living in the countryside to share their views on their experiences of police rural crime teams and the public confidence in their work.
The study is being led by Kreseda Smith, a rural criminologist and a member of the Rural Security Research Group, a dedicated research group based at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.
Dr Smith said: “Previous research has indicated that levels of confidence among rural communities in the ability of the police to tackle rural crime are at a historic low.
“In light of the growing number of rural crime policing teams across the UK, I am exploring whether these dedicated rural crime teams instil increased levels of confidence in rural residents that crime will be appropriately and effectively addressed.”
Victim in past year
Anyone who lives in a rural area and has been the target of a crime within the past year can take part – by simply filling out the short questionnaire online.
The survey is anonymous and no identifying or personal data is asked for or retained.
Dr Smith’s research will be presented and discussed in relation to future policy and practice implications for police forces across the UK – and used to re-examine both how these forces think about rural crime, and how they engage with rural communities.
She said: “I am asking all rural residents from across the four nations who have been a victim of crime within the last 12 months to please take just five minutes to give me your thoughts on your interactions with the police and how effective they are at tackling rural crime.”
NFU Mutual’s latest annual rural crime report estimated that in 2020 rural crime cost the UK £43.3m, a 20% decrease on the previous year.