NFU launches Combatting Rural Crime report

Rural crime launch_45186

The NFU launched its Combatting Rural Crime report with a reception at the House of Lords attended by MPs and peers including the new policing minister Nick Hurd MP (pictured above, centre, with Chief Constable Dave Jones of North Yorkshire Police and NFU Deputy President Minette Batters).

The bill for rural crime is now more than £42.5 million and farmers and their families in some parts of the country have been victims of arson, vandalism and burglary with many NFU members experiencing fear, intimidation and threats of violence. Vehicle theft, hare coursing and fly-tipping are also contributing to widespread anger, frustration and worry.

The result is an increasing fear of crime in rural areas and significantly lower satisfaction levels in the police than the national average.

The NFU has found there is no standard protocol across police forces for combating rural crime, with some forces not even treating rural crime as serious crime. This is leading to so-called ‘criminal tourism’ with perpetrators often travelling long distances to target farm businesses.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters wants to see a coordinated and consistent approach that would allow police forces to share best practice.

Minette at Rural crime launch_45189

“With significant and varied differences across police forces, safety in rural areas has become a postcode lottery,” she said. “Farmers are reporting dramatic increases in incidents and are feeling more vulnerable as these actions continue. Violent crime along with fly-tipping, hare coursing and theft are just a few examples of the crimes farm businesses are being subject to. On my farm, we have suffered with constant hare coursing problems, resulting in gates being left open and stock being continually put at risk.

“The cost of rural crime in the UK reached £42.5 million in 2015 and the NFU is asking government and the Home Office to ensure increased and fairer funding for rural policing. More than 1,000 rural police stations closed between 2000 and 2012, directly impacting the level of police surveillance.

“There are many very good examples of police forces taking action and implementing good practice to deal with rural crime, with great success.

“But we believe more joined-up thinking is needed from police forces together with local authorities and government to address these issues. The NFU would like government to take the lead to ensure all constabularies adopt strategies of accurate recording and target setting and are willing to work together to find positive solutions to these challenges.

“Farmers should not be seen as a soft target for criminals.”

The report draws on figures from the NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report 2016.

Sam Durham and Caroline Johnson MP_45190

The NFU's chief land management adviser Sam Durham talking crime to Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham

  • Posted by: Alister BorthwickPosted on: 10/08/2017 09:28:41

    Comment: the situation in rural Norfolk is getting worse. the standard mobile telephone signal has been reduced to provide 4G. so when 'they' removed the cash machine the other week, most holiday makers round about were not able to call the police. A car through a hedge is not logged as a crime as no one was hurt, also the damage to the hedge in itself, is not worth claiming for. Flytipping is not recorded. The police are trying but with no telephone coverage there is little we can do to help.
  • Posted by: Dirk BauierPosted on: 10/08/2017 15:31:12

    Comment: Dear Sir/Madam,
    We have a farm in West Sussex and are regularly visited at night by thieves. Recently we caught 3 man in our well equipped work shop and made them fled. The lock was cut (no protection at all for them and luckily no one was hurt. 2 weeks before they stole our John Deere Gator . Before that they nicked our car ambulance trailer. Our farm is fairly isolated and what we need from the police is advice what system(s) we have to put in place to avoid any more thefts. The same as the fire brigade has done concerning potential fire hazards
  • Posted by: linda burrowsPosted on: 14/08/2017 13:28:46

    Comment: not sure what people yacking at a reception will do to alter the situation they would be better actually doing something about it rather than all the endless jaw jawing...........surely it cant be a surprise?
  • Posted by: Stew Posted on: 16/08/2017 20:56:22

    Comment: I'm a member of a syndicate of former and retired Police Officers and have further developed a successful project combatting metal theft.

    That template is capable of impacting upon many aspects of rural crime.
  • Posted by: Tony FisherPosted on: 07/09/2017 19:16:29

    Comment: We've been hit big time now in daytime with battery powered kangaroo hammers to force our one thousand pound security door twice in a fortnight. Ridiculous to have cut funding to pol in these times of near : Anarchy:
  • Posted by: Martin KnowlesPosted on: 14/09/2017 11:59:19

    Comment: Recently scammers have been intercepting my emails whenever I am due to make an on-line payment to someone, most recently the contractor renovating our horse-shelter roofs. The scam starts early on and only the closest view will show a very minor amendment to my correspondent's email address after which every routine email comes through OK until crunch-time when the scammer inserts a bank reference into which my clients's money is to be paid. I was caught out in the period April/July by a scammer who took £12000 destined for family. Yesterday they tried again to intercept a payment of £3200 to my horse shelter contractor, but fortunately this failed once I spotted a very very minor change in his email address. Both cases have been reported to Action Fraud and the first case is being investigated by Natwest and Lloyds