Rural crime still a major worry for farmers

News that crime in rural parts of England and Wales cost more than £800m last year, according to a survey the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), should be a wake-up call to all parties including those responsible for law and order according to the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

“We have been working hard with police forces across Wales to highlight the devastating effect of rural crime and the importance of having a dedicated rural crime team for many years,” said FUW president Glyn Roberts.

“The ever changing landscape of rural crime is a growing concern, especially if we think of the amount that goes unreported and we strongly believe that a better joint working approach is needed to address these issues.”

The NRCN poll found the average cost to victims was £2,500 for rural households and £4,000 for businesses, with crimes including theft of tractors and livestock costing 21 times more than previously estimated.

“Many people still don’t report thefts and other crime to the police and the survey suggested that 27 percent of crimes were not reported in rural areas, which makes it difficult to spread the word to other farm holdings.

“Even if it is just a small amount of red-diesel having been stolen – it must be reported to the police.

“We as a union urge our members to make sure that they are reporting suspicious activity to the police and also enrol in schemes such as neighbourhood watch, Farm Watch or OWL and the Gate Safe Scheme,” added Mr Roberts.

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