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BUSINESS leaders have unveiled a manifesto spelling out rural needs when it comes to cutting crime.
The Country Land and Business Association published the manifesto ahead of the Police and Crime Commissioners' (PCCs) elections on 15 November.
The document identifieds metal and fuel theft, poaching and fly-tipping as crimes that have a huge impact on rural businesses and communities.
CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The 41 elected PCCs must understand the difference between rural and urban crime to make sure policing needs are met in the countryside.
"My business has been affected by crime three times in the past six months, so I know from personal experience that incidences of theft from farming and other rural businesses are increasing rapidly.
"Environmental crime such as fly-tipping blights the countryside and costs private landowners up to £150million a year to remove.
"Such illegal activities are extremely detrimental to the rural economy and must be addressed by PCCs."
He added: "Firearms can be an essential tool for rural people, so PCCs have a duty to ensure sensible and pragmatic licensing is implemented."
The CLA President also urged Police and Crime Commissioners to visit rural advisory groups to learn how officers can support rural communities further.
The CLA Rural Crime Manifesto can be read here.
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