The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Rural communities “don’t think the police take rural crime seriously”

To launch National Rural Crime Action Week 2023, The Countryside Alliance has released the findings of its latest Rural Crime Survey:

  • 97% of respondents said that rural crime was a “significant” issue in their community;
  • 49% did not think the police take rural crime seriously;
  • 90% had not seen any police officers in their area in the last week;
  • 63% almost two thirds of those who did not report the crime they experienced to the police said they didn’t do so because it “was a waste of time”.

The most common crimes respondents said they had experienced were fly-tipping, agricultural machinery theft and trespassing.  Of those asked, only 34% rated the police in their area as “good” or “excellent”, down from 47% the previous year.

Furthermore, the latest figures from the NFU estimate that the cost of rural crime is £49.5 million, a 22.1% increase year-on-year.

However, the National Rural Crime Network, is reassuring rural communities that ‘new partnerships are being forged between police forces, rural crime campaigners, rural crime watch volunteers, private technology companies and rural communities to make our countryside a hostile environment for criminals.’  The Network hopes to see rural crime teams set up across the UK, to work with the newly formed National Rural Crime Unit.

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth is joining the call for more to be done for rural areas:

“By their very definition, rural areas can feel very remote when you are waiting for a response to a 999 call.  Many of our rural communities are also home to an older population who are left feeling extremely vulnerable and are forced into increasing their own security, at significant costs, so they can feel in their own homes.  And it doesn’t end here; if the worse does happen, rural communities who are victims of crime may struggle to access the support they need because they are isolated. 

“Addressing rural crime, like all areas of rural life, requires the government and elected Police & Crime Commissioners to understand their communities.  I’m afraid that isn’t always the case.”

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