No one likes to pay more for fresh produce but that is the price of rural crime.
As crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers launches their web-driven ‘Scene it. Herd it. Speak up about it. Anonymously’ rural crime campaign the Force is offering free, tailored security advice and property marking to those based in our more isolated, remote communities.
Theft from rural communities cost the UK an estimated £42.3 million in 2012, according the NFU’s Mutual Rural Crime Survey 2013, and can have far-reaching consequences for communities in terms of the impact on the food chain, deliveries and supermarket prices.
An estimated 70 per cent of rural crime is planned, meaning that someone, somewhere, knows who is behind these distressing crimes which can deprive farm businesses of valuable equipment and livestock, as well as damaging churches and historic buildings.
Det Chief Insp Caroline Racher said: “We regularly patrol rural areas of the county both on foot and in vehicles but we can’t be everywhere at once. We need the help of those living and working in these more remote places to be the eyes and ears of their community, reporting unusual activity and suspicious behaviour to police as soon as they notice it.”
The Crimestoppers message will be predominantly spread via social media using Facebook, Twitter and local alert systems, in order to reach deep into rural communities.
The Crimestoppers website also features information on aspects of rural crime such as poaching, hare-coursing, theft of oil, metal and machinery, and highlights what to look out for. The charity will also be hosting a blog at www.blog.crimestoppers-uk.org
Crimestoppers will also be working with NFU Mutual, Sainsbury’s and Northern Powergrid and other important organisations with a rural interest such as the National Farmers’ Union, English Heritage, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
Bruce Cameron, Chair of the Nottinghamshire Crimestoppers Committee, said: “Rural Crime affects every one of us by driving up food prices. We are proud to be working with Nottinghamshire Police as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner to fight rural crime.”
Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said: “Rural crime can have devastating consequences for the victim. Stealing a tractor is akin to stealing someone’s work tools thereby threatening their livelihood. Due to the isolated and rural locations where so many of these crimes take place, it’s vitally important that communities help to tackle the problem by reporting suspicious behaviour and incidents to either the police or Crimestoppers.”
If you have information or suspicions concerning criminal activity in the rural community call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111 or contact the charity via the Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org