The Countryside Alliance released its 2020 Rural Crime Survey which made for stark reading and should be a wake-up call for those who police and live in rural communities.
The results showed that one in four did not bother reporting crimes and that 47 per cent of those surveyed thought the police did not take rural crime seriously. This needs to be addressed, especially if these attitudes are to change and the relationship between rural communities and their respective police forces is to strengthen. Rural communities need to feel that rural crime is not just thought of as a trivial matter by the police. The fact that 57 per cent of people thought rural policing has not improved since Police and Crime Commissioners were introduced in 2012, only makes the situation more pressing.
Of the 8,000 people surveyed by the Countryside Alliance, 38 per cent had fallen victim to a crime in the preceding year, with the most common rural offences being fly-tipping, theft of agricultural machinery, trespass, theft from outbuildings, wildlife crime such as poaching, and animal rights activism.
We must start to tackle these issues immediately and this begins with the police and rural communities working together. The police must understand the unique nature and impact of rural crime and rural communities must report these crimes so that the police recognise the true level of it. Without these first steps we have a whole community that are not being served by the people and authorities who are supposed to look out for them and keep them safe.
Read the summary here
Find out the results from your local force here