Farmers and landowners are being urged to take part in the largest ever survey on crime in rural areas.
Launched on Wednesday (20 May), the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), is calling for people who work or live in rural areas to come forward and give their views on policing in their community and the effect crime and antisocial behaviour has on them and their neighbours.
Ultimately, it is hoped the network will be used to help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing.
See also: Rural crime remains ‘persistent’ problem
Against a backdrop of policing budget cuts and a growing focus on higher crime areas, the new survey will assess how crime and antisocial behaviour, as well as the threat of potential crime, affects individuals, both financially and emotionally.
It will also shed light on the human implications of crime and the fear of crime, seeking to explore the effect not just on individual victims, but also communities as a whole.
You don’t need to have been a victim of crime to have a view on how the police work. You may be concerned about police visibility or response, see incidents that go unreported, or you may have a local officer who is engaged and proactive.
Any crime that happens in an urban area can, and does, happen in rural areas too, and how policing is delivered affects everyone living and working there.
Traditional farm-related incidents such as fuel theft and sheep rustling make up just one part of the problem; we need to understand all the other issues that affect people in our remoter areas, as well as in market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.
NFU senior adviser for planning and rural affairs Suzanne Clear urged farmers to get involved and make a difference.
“We would ask our members to please spare 10 minutes to respond to the survey,” she said. “Their experience can demonstrate how crime affects farming families, farm businesses and the community around them.
“This should be the biggest rural crime survey ever, and it is essential the farming and countryside voice is heard, to ensure rural crime prevention is a priority for police funding.”
Take part in the Rural Crime Survey