Combatting Rural Crime

The impact of rural crime is far reaching, so far reaching many of the criminals are from outside of our counties.

We are all disgusted by the theft of livestock but also expensive farming machinery and equipment. 

A recent report by the National Rural Crime Network, of which I am a member and former Board member, has recently published a report: Rural Crime: Serious, Organised and International. The report seeks to dispel outdated assumptions about rural crime as minor or opportunistic. A staggering 28% of the victims did not report to the police.

Their 10 point plan is clear:

1) Overhaul the way the police prioritise rural crime

2) Carry out a full Economic Impact Assessment of rural crime

3) Legislate for a national Rural Crime Strategy and Advisory Group

4) Recruit specialist Rural Crime Co-ordinators

5) New Rural Crime Sentencing Guidelines

6) Full implementation of the Victim's Code of Practice

7) WhatsApp to be used by Rural Crime Officers

8) Greater Rural Crime Training for Police Officers and Control Centres

9) Tougher control at our ports and borders

10) Increased use of technology

So, we have got together as a South West team of Police and Crime Commissioners to create Operation Ragwort. This enables better sharing of intelligence between our forces and to work together to catch these often travelling criminals. We have had some cross-border success already.

I have already overseen the expansion of our rural crime team in my first term of office and commit to keeping it there. Thanks to the police uplift paid for by our council tax payers back in 2017-2019.

I am committed to fulfilling the elements that policing need to do and work with the forces Rural Crime and Wildlife Affairs Team to continue to support our farmers and rural areas.