Nearly half of countryside residents don't believe officers take rural crime seriously, despite 94 percent saying the issue was having a 'significant' impact on rural communities.
Of the 8,000 people surveyed by the Countryside Alliance, 38 percent 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.
Three-quarters of those who lived in rural areas answered that crime has gone up during the past 12 months, and 56 percent of those who reported a crime were dissatisfied with the way it was handled by the police.
The Countryside Alliance is calling on the Government to create a national rural crime taskforce and adequately fund sparsely populated areas to ensure they are better protected.
The Mail on Sunday - Countryside residents say there's no point calling the police over rural crime: Poll finds a quarter of victims don't bother to report offences such as fly-tipping, poaching and trespassing
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