Huge public support for strong action to curb rural crime

12 May 2021

Rural crime
An image of a man walking a dog in a field talking to another man who is wearing a high vis vest

Nearly 70,000 members of the public back the NFU’s calls for immediate action to tackle rural crime, demonstrating the strength of feeling to create a safer, cleaner and greener rural Britain.

As newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners take up their posts, more than 50,000 people have signed an open letter demanding action to tackle fly-tipping, including working more closely with local authorities and landowners on prevention, clean-up and prosecution.

Tackling dog attacks

A further 19,000 have supported changes to legislation to prevent dog attacks on farm animals, including increasing fines and giving police more powers to seize dogs.

This support follows years of NFU campaigning on the issue and coincides with a government commitment today1 to give police new powers to respond to incidents.

Huge toll on farming families

At the time, then NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “Not a week goes by where I don’t hear from a farmer about an industrial-scale amount of rubbish being dumped on their farm, or a farmer losing sheep as a result of a savage dog attack on his flock.

“Such incidents are devastating for a farmer. Not only does it hurt their ability to produce food and damage the work they’ve done for the environment, but it has a huge toll on farming families. The farm is not only our place of work but also our home. To be subject to these crimes on such a regular basis is unacceptable.”

The nation’s green spaces have played a huge part in helping us all through the pandemic and looking after the countryside is obviously a top priority for many. Stuart went on to explain: “It’s clear from the numbers supporting our campaign that the public back the police taking action to rid rural Britain of this scourge. They hugely value the benefits the countryside brings, and they don’t want it blighted by huge dumps of litter on the side of the road or farm animals attacked by out of control dogs.”

Police and Crime Commissioners

Hopefully the election of new Police and Crime Commissioners will act as a reset moment.

Stuart went on to ask for action, “I would urge them to take rural crime seriously, understand its links to organised crime, and commit to levelling up policing for both urban and rural areas to create a safer, cleaner and greener rural Britain.”

Read more on NFU online

Learn about creating a safer, cleaner, greener rural Britain in the NFU’s Levelling up rural Britain report.

Livestock worrying

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