Head­lines for small­hold­ers

Country Smallholding - - Inside This Month -

Quiet and peace­ful it may be a lot of the time, but un­for­tu­nately the coun­try­side is not im­mune from crime. In fact, ru­ral crime is on the in­crease, which has led the NFU to call for prompt, ef­fec­tive ac­tion to deal with it. A sur­vey shows that the pro­por­tion of busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enc­ing agri­cul­tur­ere­lated crime and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour has risen since 2013:

35% of busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enced tres­pass­ing or unau­tho­rised ac­cess of land or build­ings;

26% of busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enced poach­ing, hare cours­ing or il­le­gal hunt­ing;

23% of busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enced quad bik­ing or use of other ve­hi­cles on their land;

15% of busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­enced live­stock wor­ry­ing.

In its Ru­ral Crime Re­port, the NFU called on au­thor­i­ties to en­sure a ded­i­cated ru­ral po­lice team in each force and for the gov­ern­ment to bring to­gether a cross-depart­men­tal task­force to ad­dress fail­ures in tack­ling crime.

NFU deputy pres­i­dent Guy Smith said: “These new fig­ures will come as no sur­prise to farm­ers who of­ten feel in a state of siege from the crim­i­nal fra­ter­nity. Ev­ery day the NFU hears from its mem­bers about this ru­ral blight that has a se­ri­ously detri­men­tal ef­fect on lives and busi­nesses.”

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