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Countryside Alliance publish results of Rural Crime Survey 2021

The results of the 2021 Countryside Alliance rural crime survey were released at the weekend with an exclusive in the Daily Mail.

The results built on last year's survey and showed that - at the time of participating in the survey - nine in ten people had not seen a police officer in the last week and seven in ten people reported an increase in crime over the last 12 months. You can read the full breakdown of the survey results here.

With concern about crime in rural areas growing, it is not surprising that 46% of people who responded to our 2021 Rural Crime Survey told us they don't think the police take rural crime seriously or that one in four did not bother reporting crime to the police.

With an absence of a visible police presence and the fact that rural crime is often not taken seriously, it is leaving rural businesses and communities feeling undervalued and even more isolated, for which there is simply no excuse.

The crimes which were recorded as the most frequently committed in rural areas, include fly-tipping, agricultural machinery theft and trespass [trespass is not in itself criminal unless aggravated], with respondents wanting the police to prioritise tackling these crimes.

Additionally, the survey showed that there is a serious problem of crime being underreported in rural areas, with one in four not reporting the crime they were a victim of. Those surveyed felt it was either a waste of time to report it or that the police would not be able to do anything. This lends an explanation to the statistic of 46% of people not thinkng that the police take rural crime seriously and 59% of people disagreeing with the statement that the police are spending more time on tackling rural crime.

The implication of these findings is that we have a rural population simply putting up with the crime they experience and making do as best they can. There is often no escape from the effects of rural crime, with the fear of crime doing just as much damage as the crimes that are committed.

It is clear from these results that there is a lot to do in tackling rural crime, working with communities to ensure the impact of it is lessened, and to tackle the crime problems rural communities face.

The Countryside Alliance adds the following comments on the overall results of theie 2021 Rural Crime Survey:

  • Those living in the countryside deserve to have their voice and policing concerns listened to.
  • Police resources must be distributed fairly and officers need to be sufficiently trained and equipped to deal with the type of crimes being carried out in the countryside, in all weathers and all terrains.
  • Criminals need to know they cannot and will not get away with targeting rural people.
  • There's a clear perception among many in the countryside that rural crime is not taken seriously enough. This fear is exacerbated when police officers are not seen to be out and about on patrol.

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