Stamp out rural crime - call the dedicated Crimestoppers hotline

Crimestoppers - Stamp out rural crime_55493

Did you know that the NFU and Crimestoppers run the Rural Crime Reporting Line, a service through which you can anonymously give information about four rural crimes?

Rural crime is on the rise and it is a serious issue for farmers, businesses and those who live in the countryside. Whether it is fly-tipping, hare coursing, livestock theft or machinery theft, rural crime has a devastating effect on farms and other rural businesses.

Those responsible for this blight on our countryside are suspected of having links to organised crime. It is vital we bring them to justice.

That’s where you can help.

You can either call the dedicated Rural Crime Reporting Line on 0800 783 0137 or visit to give information anonymously about one of these four crimes:

  • Large-scale, industrial fly-tipping
  • Hare coursing
  • Livestock theft
  • Machinery theft

The service was unveiled to MPs at a launch event in Westminster in October 2018, where they were urged to encourage constituents to use the service and give information about these crimes in their area.

When should I call this number?

You can call the dedicated Rural Crime Reporting Line to give information anonymously about any one of the four crime types listed above, after the crime has been committed.

if a crime is in progress, there is an emergency, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used, you should call 999 immediately. If you don't need an emergency response, you can call 101.

What are these crimes?

Large-scale, industrial fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste, usually on farmland. In 2015/16 there were 936,000 incidents of fly-tipping, a 4% increase since 2015/16. Waste can be costly and time consuming to remove. It’s also dangerous to human health, wildlife and livestock. When fly-tipping takes place on private land, it is the landowner’s responsibility to remove the dumped waste often at great cost.

Hare-coursing is the pursuit of hares with dogs, often for the purposes of betting. It takes place on areas of flat, open land where the dogs can easily and visibly pursue the hare. It is typically carried out by large groups of people who travel long distances. It is illegal under the Hunting Act but it also has other impacts, for example: fences and gates can be damaged by vehicles forcibly trying to gain access to land.

Livestock theft can be a lucrative criminal activity due to the good prices that can often be received for cattle and sheep. The crime can range from losing hundreds of animals to just one of two. The loss of stock leads to significant financial losses and can also have further impacts on the business such as losing breeding stock.

Machinery theft: farm machinery is often expensive and the business is dependent on it. For example, a stolen tractor could mean crops can’t be harvested or a stolen quad bike means livestock can’t be fed. There isn’t a big market for second-hand farm machinery in the UK, so high value items can often be stolen to order and then sent abroad. Farmers have experienced violence when confronting thieves on their land – which is often remote and difficult to secure.

To provide information on any of the crimes outlined above you can call the dedicated Rural Crime Reporting Line on 0800 783 0137 or visit to give information - 100% anonymously. Always.

Last edited on: 05:08:2019

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  • Posted by: James BlackPosted on: 05/08/2018 14:24:19

    Comment: We should add Arson to the list of rural crimes. We have just lost a second lot of straw on one of our units. This time 4 separate stacks of 260 bales each were deliberately set on fire last Sunday. The fire brigade ended up having to leave 2 tenders in attendance for half the day to ensure as it burned out the fire did not spread to neighbouring field of standing corn. This is costly to both individuals and the community.

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