Rural communities are being encouraged to have their say as part of the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey, to help better understand the true picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in rural areas and the impact it has on local people who live and work there.
According to the National Rural Crime Network, rural crime is still being under-reported. Three years on from their last survey, they are keen for people who make up rural areas across the country to once again share their views on the policing of rural communities.
The feedback from the survey will be used to help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing. You can take part in the Rural Crime Survey by visiting www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Rural crime affects the livelihoods of farmers, smallholders and rural businesses and presents some real challenges for the wider rural areas. In Somerset we have a large rural community and many people who work in farming and other rural industries. It’s important they have a voice and that the police service understands the impact of rural crime on them.
“Rural crime is already the focus of a lot of effort locally with a dedicated rural crime team, a rural crime forum which many local organisations are a part of and Farm and Horse watches across Avon and Somerset. We’re already in a strong position but any additional knowledge from the survey will further help the police in their efforts tackling rural crime. I’d encourage people to spare a few minutes to tell us what they think.”
Rural crime is typically associated with the countryside such as wildlife and heritage crime, farm equipment and animal thefts. However, alongside this there have also been examples of fraud and other scams, with criminals deliberately targeting isolated, vulnerable people.
If you’ve experienced rural crime in Avon and Somerset you can get in touch with the rural crime team by texting 07492 888109 or if you would like to remain anonymous, you can make a report online through Crimestoppers or by calling them on 0800 555111.
On May 1, the Constabulary are launching a new rural crime Facebook page which local people can follow. For crime prevention information you can also join your local Farm Watch by contacting the rural crime team at ruralcrimeteam@
If you’ve been the victim of crime you can report it by calling 101 (non-emergency), 999 (in an emergency) or online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk