Rural Crime detection and prevention
Figures published this summer by NFU Mutual show rural crime has hit a seven-year high in the UK and is costing around £50m each year. As well as thefts of farm machinery and equipment there are also many thefts of crops and livestock.
The true cost of rural crime across the UK would no doubt increase significantly if the Police were able to include all of the other instances of rural, heritage and the many wildlife crimes that are more difficult to put
a price tag on.
As well as dealing with the typical farm matters, Kent Police’s Rural Crime team are dealing with a range of rural crimes. Everything from Hare Coursing, fly tipping, crop thefts, illegal fishing and wreck diving, theft of garden statues, furniture and plants, copper cables and many instances of thefts of horses and equestrian equipment and dogs.
What can farmers, the rural community and those of us visiting the countryside do to protect ourselves, property and to help the police to catch the perpetrators of rural crime?
Reporting all rural crime helps the police to build up a true picture of what is happening where and details of the Rural Crime team can be found at www.kent.police.uk/advice/rural-crime/
Also keep eyes and ears open for and report unusual or suspicious activity which is taking place. Noting important details such as how many suspects there are, descriptions of them, locations if people are trespassing, if they have equipment such as dogs or firearms, details of vehicles being used and also if possible, safely take a photograph on your smart phone.
Other schemes such as Heritage Watch is being used to monitor and help prevent damage to historic sites www.heritagewatch.co.uk
The Country Eye App by The Crime Rural Advisory Group (CRAG) is free to download and to help rural communities and farmers
to report information quickly www.countryeye.co.uk
Rural crime is taking place on many levels and it is important that we all work together to help put a stop to it.