Police forces across the country conducted operations to target criminal activity in rural areas across the country, throughout rural crime week. Between the 6th and 13th of October, operations focused on a variety of rural crimes, including fly-tipping, hare coursing, livestock worrying and machinery theft.
The police recognise that rural crime is becoming more of a pressing issue. It cost the UK £49.9 million in 2018 according to NFU Mutual, which is an increase of more than 12% on 2017. As a consequence, the police sought to raise awareness and dedicate more resources to the fight against rural crime. The NFU used this national week of action as a springboard to further our efforts to tackle rural crime and collaborate with the police.
What did the police do during Rural Crime Week?
The police conducted proactive operations to target criminal activity in rural areas. Largely, police forces across the country conducted their own operations, focusing on disrupting criminal activity in rural areas.
What did the NFU do in Rural Crime Week:
The NFU were on the ground supporting and engaging with rural crime week events in all 7 regions. This was so farmers were able to see the greatest benefit possible from this week of targeted action.
The NFU launched its new Rural Crime Hub, which provides rural crime advice and prevention tips. Alongside this, a new Rural Crime Hotline was launched. This is a service that gives people a route to give information 100% anonymously about rural crime.
What happened in the regions?
The NFU were on the ground supporting and engaging with Rural Crime Week events in all 7 regions to ensure the concerns of farmers were voiced to their local police forces, some of which are outlined below.
- In the North West, the NFU organised drop in sessions for members with Merseyside and Lancashire Police.
- The NFU supported a Northumberland Police event at Acklington Mart on 10 October and Hexham Mart on 11 October, in the North East Region.
- In the West Midlands, Warwickshire police are launched a new rural crime team during rural crime week. This includes a series of rural patrol vehicles and resources.
- In the East Midlands, Proactive operations focused on hare coursing. A number of NFU representatives joined Crimestoppers East Midlands and Northamptonshire Police at the charity’s rural crime launch.
- In East Anglia, NFU Chief Land Management Adviser, Sam Durham attended the launch of the Bedfordshire Police rural crime prevention handbook and engaged with the police on behalf of farmers.
- NFU South East representation has resulted in Kent Police appointing six extra police officers to tackle rural crime.
- In the South West, the NFU supported Gloucestershire police in providing agricultural equipment registration to a number of farmers. This ensures that stolen machinery can be easily located and retrieved.