Call for ru­ral crime to be all-year-round fo­cus

NFU of­fi­cials urge po­lice to take ac­tion as rate of in­ci­dents in­creases

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FARMING - BY NANCY NICOLSON

In­creas­ing lev­els of crim­i­nal­ity in the coun­try­side have prompted the farm­ers’ union in Eng­land to call on Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sion­ers to make tack­ling ru­ral crime a strate­gic ob­jec­tive all year round.

The ap­peal by NFU deputy pres­i­dent, Guy Smith, fol­lows a na­tional day of po­lice fo­cus on com­bat­ting crime in the coun­try­side when all po­lice forces were en­cour­aged to carry out ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing is­su­ing war­rants and mak­ing ar­rests. Mr Smith said that while the fo­cus was wel­come news for ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, statis­tics showed that crime in the coun­try­side is in­creas­ing and it is leav­ing farm­ers, grow­ers and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in­creas­ingly fear­ful.

“Not only do busi­nesses see their ma­chin­ery stolen or large-scale waste dumped on their land but they are fre­quently in­tim­i­dated and threat­ened by the per­pe­tra­tors. All of this can amount to se­ri­ous dis­rup­tion in the farm busi­ness but it also takes its toll on the farmer and their fam­ily,” he said.

“I com­mend the Na­tional Po­lice Chiefs Coun­cil for en­cour­ag­ing all of their forces, whether they are ru­ral or ur­ban, to fo­cus on tack­ling crime in the coun­try­side and I am con­fi­dent they will have made this day a great suc­cess.”

In Scot­land NFU Mu­tual sup­ports the Scot­tish Part­ner­ship Against Ru­ral Crime (SPARC) and pro­vides sup­port and ex­pert ad­vice to many lo­cal farm and ru­ral watch schemes.

Else­where it has funded a spe­cial­ist agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cle po­lice of­fi­cer through the Na­tional Ve­hi­cle Crime In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice (NaVCIS) for the good of the farm­ing in­dus­try co-or­di­nat­ing farm ma­chin­ery theft in­for­ma­tion be­tween po­lice forces, Bor­der Force and Interpol.

DIS­RUP­TIVE: Ru­ral busi­nesses are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing more crime in­clud­ing waste dumped on prop­er­ties and theft

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