The Daily Express featured a comment piece from NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts discussing the impact of rural crime and what action is needed to prevent it.
You can read the column, which was published on 3 May, below:
Whether it’s large amounts of rubbish that has been illegally fly-tipped, theft of farm machinery, hare coursing or sheep rustling, rural crime is hugely impacting the British countryside. Yes, all parts of the UK experience some form of crime but in rural areas the funding just isn’t there to deal with the problem. The Rural Services Network estimate rural areas continue to receive lower levels of police funding, per head of population, than urban areas.
The consequences are massive. Experiencing rural crime can be devastating for any farm business. Not only does it hurt a farm financially and its ability to farm effectively, it also causes huge emotional distress and anxiety for farming families.
We know incidents are becoming far more organised and sophisticated leaving farmers and rural communities all too vulnerable. The NFU’s own rural crime survey revealed many farmers had experienced at least one crime during 2020. No-one should be disadvantaged by where they live or where their business is based. That’s why tackling this scourge on rural Britain is a key priority for the NFU.
People in rural areas are desperate to see adequate policing in their areas which is why we're asking for more funding and a co-ordinated approach between police forces to tackle the serious issue of rural crime and help reverse this current trend. Police and Crime Commissioners play a vital role in coordinating prevention and proactively tackling crime, and with elections taking place this week, we need to ensure that candidates are shown why rural communities must be given all the support they need so everyone who works, lives and visits them feel safe.